Family: Portulacaceae

Originating from western North America, this genus consists of 20 species of evergreen or herbaceous perennials that form rosettes or tufts of fleshy leaves. They grow from thick roots and are useful in rock gardens or wall crevices. These small, decorative plants have pink, red, purple, yellow, white or orange flow­ers in spring or early summer.


L. brachycalyx, zone 5, grows to 8 cm (3 in) high, with rosettes of fleshy leaves and delicate, white or pale pink flowers.

L. columbiana, zone 5, to 25 cm (10 in) high, has bright magenta-pink or sometimes paler pink flowers, with dark red veins.

L. cotyledon, zone 6, is an evergreen with dark leaves and small sprays of striped pink to purple flowers which may also be cream to yellow or apricot. There are a number of very pretty hybrids of this species.

L. rediviva, zone 4, from high alti­tudes of British Columbia, California and Utah, is a deciduous species, producing rather grassy leaves which die back before or during flower­ing. The flowers are rosy pink or white.

L. tweedyi, zone 5, is an evergreen forming rosettes of mid-green foliage. Growing 15-20 cm (6-8 in) high, these plants bear white or salmon pink flowers in spring or early summer. Hybrids of this species have pretty colours.


Lewisias like a deep, loose, gritty, acid to neutral soil with perfect drainage. Herbaceous species need full sun, evergreens light shade. They are easiest to grow tucked in pockets of a dry stone wall so there is never too much free water around their roots. Propagate from seed sown in spring or autumn, or by root divi­sion. Some species can be grown from offsets.


Cool to cold climates only.

Leucothoe      Liatris