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LEWISIA cotyledon

Image of Lewisia cotyledon

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Portulacaceae

Botanical Name

LEWISIA cotyledon

Plant Common Name

Cliff Maids, Siskiyou Lewisia

General Description

A fragile-looking but tough-natured denizen of mountains and canyons in the Northwest United States, this variable perennial is grown for its handsome evergreen leaves and its showy sprays of dainty, colorful flowers.

This hardy perennial has flat rosettes of fleshy, oval to club-shaped, medium-green leaves that arise from a plump, starchy taproot. The leaves may have smooth or toothed margins. In late spring, the rosettes give rise to airy clusters of delicate, rounded flowers on slender branching stalks. The pink, salmon, yellow, or white blooms often have contrasting stripes. Sporadic summer re-bloom may occur.

This mountain-dweller requires porous, slightly acidic to neutral soil, and a cool position that receives neither hot sun nor excessive moisture. A north-facing wall is ideal. Plants often benefit from a gravel mulch. Remove spent leaves and crowded growth. Use this beguiling perennial in rock gardens, troughs, and walls.

Lewisia cotyledon is represented in nature by five varieties and in gardens by numerous cultivars and hybrids.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-16" / 15.2cm - 40.6cm

  • Width

    8"-16" / 20.3cm - 40.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States, California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Light Pink, Rose, Salmon, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Feature Plant, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes