Lewisia rediviva

Bitter Root

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 0.5' X 0.5'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
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The little bitter root has a wide distribution in the interior of western North America. It ranges from southern British Columbia and Alberta into Arizona. In Santa Clara County, CA, it is found in both the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range. It favors open rocky mountainous habitats. With the cool of fall, the bitter root sends up a rosette of short succulent cylindrical leaves following summer dormancy. It honestly looks something like a little sea anemone. It is easy to miss until late spring (in Santa Clara County) when it produces one to several large pink (sometimes white) flowers that entirely obscure the foliage. The flower pedicel is so short that they seem to be scattered on the ground. Provide bitter root with excellent drainage and withhold water during summer dormancy. It is a good candidate for growing in a pot.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen