Lewisia: My Favorite Martian Flower{23}

I have a theory, that the fleshy-leaf, flower-flashing Lewisia (aka bitterroot) is not of this world.  Horticulturalists will tell you the diminutive beauty was discovered by and named after explorer Meriwether Lewis on his expedition through the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon, but I have a hunch there’s a cover-up involved. Yep, a conspiracy to hide the plant’s true origin: Mars.

holding potted Lewisia

Just look at it, so bizarrely unique as if pluck from the set of Avatar

(Um, I’m referring to the plant.)

Lewisia in bloomThe pint-sized portulacaceae explode with floriferous exuberance in late spring and early summer, creating a fireworks display of flaming petals.

vibrant colored lewisiaThe color display can last up to a month, and then the plant bows out of the limelight to rest up for next year’s show. Because standing water will rot the plant’s roots and leaves, Lewisia requires excellent drainage. Whether from Mars or the Pacific Northwest Coastal Range, Lewisia is very at home in my garden and in my heart. Consider it for yours.

See what other gardeners are saying about Lewisia: