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Taxon  Report  
Lewisia rediviva  Pursh  var. rediviva 
Bitter root
Lewisia rediviva var. rediviva is a perennial herb that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in western North America.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial

Bloom Period
Parent: Lewisia rediviva
Genus: Lewisia
Family: Montiaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Ultramafic affinity: 1.4 - weak indicator / indifferent

Habitat: slopes

Communities: Sagebrush Scrub, Yellow Pine Forest, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Foothill Woodland, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
JEFLewisia alba
Information about  Lewisia rediviva var. rediviva from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Jepson eFlora


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[science.halleyhosting.com] Description, Native American food source: Bitterroot is a very attractive wildflower suited for dry, naturalized gardens. It is a low plant with numerous narrow leaves in a basal rosette (See photo at right.), and lacking a large flower stem with leaves. The thick, fleshy leaves appear before the flowers appear and whither as the flowers bloom. The leaves range from 1.5-5 cm long and are linear-clavate. The short, leafless stem ranges from 1-3 cm tall, and has a whorl of 5-6 linear bracts from 5-10 mm long at its tip. The large showy flowers are variable in color, from whitish, rose, to deep pink and occasionally a light peach color. The 12-18 (usually 15) petals are oblong-oblanceolate in shape from 18-35 mm long. The 6-9 (usually 4) sepals are oval, 10-25 mm long, and often similar in color to the petals. The stamens are numerous, numbering 30-50. There may be just one flower on the stem, but more typically there are 2-3. After flowering, the sepals close around the ovary. On maturation of the seeds, the sepals and enclosed ovary as a unit tend to break free of the scape and are then blown across the ground, scattering seeds away from the parent. The fleshy taproot, although bitter in taste, was highly prized by native Americans as a food source. Commonly it was dug as the leaves developed, at a period when they were less bitter. They were peeled and boiled, then eaten immediately or dried for later use. The bitterroot is also the state flower of Montana. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2023. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 12/04/2023).