Observation  Detail
Plant Name   Lewisia rediviva   Bitter root
Observer Eddie Risse    PROFILE
Date 2017-05-09
County Contra Costa
Coordinates 37.88216, -121.91386 LOCATION CLOSEUP
Elevation 1125 meters
Location This picture was taken at the summit of Mount Diablo. The plant grows on gravelly to heavy, usually dry soil on grassland, open shrubland or open forest- low elevations to the subalpine. The roots were consumed by Native tribes as an infrequent delicacy
Notes Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) is a small perennial herb in the Portulacaceae or purslane family. Native American names included spetlum or spetlem, meaning "bitter", nakamtcu (Ktanxa: naqam¢u), and mo'ôtáa-heséeo'ôtse (Cheyenne, "black medicine") The roots were consumed by tribes such as the Shoshone and the Flathead Indians as an infrequent delicacy. Traditionally, the Ktunaxa cooked bitterroot with grouse. For the Ktunaxa, bitterroot is eaten with sugar; other tribes prefer eating it with salt. The Lemhi Shoshone believed the small red core found in the upper taproot had special powers, notably being able to stop a bear attack. Meriwether Lewis ate bitterroot in 1805 and 1806 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The specimens he brought back were identified and given their scientific name, Lewisia rediviva, by a German-American botanist, Frederick Pursh. The bitterroot was selected as the Montana state flower on February 27, 1895. Three major geographic features, the Bitterroot Mountains (running north-south and forming the divide between Idaho and Montana), the Bitterroot Valley, and the Bitterroot River (which flows south-north, terminating in the Clark Fork river in the city of Missoula), owe the origins of their names to this flower.-Information Wikipedia
Calflora ID po34297
Added 2017-05-09 Plant Observation Entry
Location Quality HIGH (2)
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© 2017 Eddie Risse