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Lewisia rediviva

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About Bitter Root (Lewisia rediviva) Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva Pursh) is a small, low plant in the Montiaceae (Purslane) family that is found in scattered locations in mountain areas of California up to 9,700 ft. It has a showy pink to white flower and is the state flower of Montana. The Lewisia genus is named after Meriwether Lewis. It is a low-growing perennial plant with a fleshy taproot and a simple or branched base. The The plant goes dormant in summer but will emerge from the taproot with winter rain. flower stems are leafless, 1-3 centimeter tall, bearing at the tip a whorl of 5-6 linear leafs which are 5-10 millimeter long. A single, relatively large flower appears on each stem with 6-9 oval shaped sepals. They range in color from whitish to deep pink or rose during May and June. The petals (usually about 15) are oblong in shape and are 18-35 millimeter long in length. Also see Lewisia cotyledon, a closely related species.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Succulent

Max. Height
1 ft (0.3 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Summer Deciduous

Flower Color
Pink, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky, sandy ground, talus, clay, granite, shale, open areas

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
228' - 10256'

Annual Precip. ?
4.0" - 83.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 2.71"

Coldest Month ?
25.0° F - 59.3° F

Hottest Month ?
46.2° F - 85.8° F

Humidity ?
0.93 vpd - 38.86 vpd

Soil Description
Typically requires fast draining rocky or gravelly soil

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -5° F

Companion Plants
Use with other herbaceous species of the mountains, woodlands and forests such as onion (Allium sp.), Brodiaea sp., Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Blue Flax (Linum lewisii), Mosquito Bill (Primula hendersonii), California Buttercup (Ranunculus californica), and Blue Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum)

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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