Siskiyou Lewisia and Cliff Maids (Lewisia cotyledon)

Image taken by user Stickpen on Wikipedia, creative commons licence.   Location: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Clairmont, CA, USA

Image taken by user Stickpen on Wikipedia, creative commons licence. 

Location: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Clairmont, CA, USA

As an evergreen perennial, this hardy flowering plant is native to the rocky, subalpine region spanning northern California and southern Oregon.  

Each plant has a strong taproot and grows from a basal rosette of somewhat cupped, fleshy, strap-shaped leaves, which give the plant its name, cotyledon being Latin for "small cup".  Inflorescences raise from this central rosette on one or more stems, flowering from spring to summer and often displaying many funnel-shaped flowers ranging in coloration from purple-pink, to orange, yellow, or even white.  Each is flower 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter and stalks tend to be 10-20 cm tall.

Though it does not take well to winter's typical wet or cold, this hardy plant can survive well in moderately acidic, normal, or sandy soils as well as thriving in full or partial sun, even as accent plants in the cracked plaster of a retaining wall.  Either way, they require excellent drainage.  If you are caring for one or more of these vibrant plants, be sure to watch for wet stressors.  As well-adapted as the L. cotyledon, ((S.Wats.) B.L.Rob) is too hot, sometimes inhospitable areas, it is susceptible to neck rot in wet conditions.  

Till next time,

Katheryn


Sources:

1. The RHS: https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=1148.  Accessed 7.20.15

2. http://www.perennials.com/plants/lewisia-cotyledon-hybrid-mixture.html.  Accessed 7.20.15