Lewisia rediviva var. minor
Color: White to pinkish
Common name: Bitter Root, Bitterroot
Latin name: Lewisia rediviva var. minor
Height: 1-2 inches
Description: Bitterroot has solitary, silky flowers, up to 7.5 cm wide, and held on short stems. They are composed of 4–9 papery sepals and 12–20 almost translucent petals surrounding a bunch of stamens. Var. minor only differs from its Montana cousins in size being much smaller and in its limited range.
Leaf: The 2-3 mm wide succulent, fleshy leaves are up to 5 cm long. The leaves are held in a rosette and are either evergreen or die back to the thick fleshy roots.
Range: Desert Mtns, Transverse Mountain ranges, San Jacinto Mountains, NV, UT.
Habitat: Rocky open conifer woodland, scrub
Elevation: 1900–2800 m.
Flowering time: Late spring-early summer
Notes: The species name, rediviva, means "brought back to life" and refers to this plant's ability to sprout new growth, even after long periods of drought. The plants, discovered by Lewis and Clark, were already well-known to Native Americans in the area, and eaten by local people. Today, bitterroot is the state flower of Montana and has given its name to the Bitterroot Range, which runs north-south and forms the divide between Idaho and Montana. The common name bitterroot refers to the taste of the roots. The species is also used by several Native American groups as a medicinal plant for sore throats, heart and pleurisy pain, and to increase milk flow after childbirth.
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