logo Calflora, a 501c3 non-profit
Taxon  Report  
Lewisia pygmaea  (A. Gray) B. L. Rob.
Alpine lewisia,   Pigmy bitter root
Lewisia pygmaea 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
Genus: Lewisia
Family: Montiaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Wetlands: Occurs usually in non wetlands, occasionally in wetlands

Habitat: streambanks

Communities: Subalpine Forest, Alpine Fell-fields, wetland-riparian

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
JEFCalandrinia grayi
JEFCalandrinia pygmaea
JEFLewisia exarticulata
JEF + PLANTSLewisia minima
JEF + PLANTSLewisia pygmaea var. aridorum
Information about  Lewisia pygmaea from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
This plant is available commercially.
Jepson eFlora


Photos on Calflora

Photos on CalPhotos

Google Images

Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[Wikipedia] Description, Range, Habitat: Lewisia pygmaea is a species of flowering plant in the family Montiaceae known by the common name alpine lewisia and pygmy bitterroot. It is native to western North America from Alaska and Alberta to California and New Mexico, where it grows in many types of moist, rocky mountain habitat, such as gravel beds and sandy meadows. Description Lewisia pygmaea is a highly variable species with a wide distribution, and it often hybridizes with other Lewisia species, making identification difficult. In general, this is a petite perennial herb growing from a taproot and caudex unit, and producing a basal rosette of several leaves 2 to 8 centimeters long. The leaves are narrow but thick and fleshy, blunt-tipped, and linear to lance-shaped. The inflorescence is usually made up of a few very short stems each bearing one or more flowers which appear to be sitting on or within the basal leaf rosette. Each flower has 5 to 9 white, pink or red petals which may or may not have dark veining or striping. The petals are 4 millimeters to 1 centimeter long. Habitat and Range Lewisia pygmaea grows in open areas with short turf and in gravelly or rocky soils. It can be found naturally growing in Alta., B.C., Yukon; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.[1] (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]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 05/19/2024).