Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alpine Lewisia, Dwarf Lewisia, Pygmy Bitterroot
Lewisia pygmaea

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Lewisia (lew-ISS-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pygmaea (pig-MAY-uh) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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to view:

By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Lewisia pygmaea by Baa

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Lewisia pygmaea by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Lewisia pygmaea by kennedyh

By Baa
Thumbnail #4 of Lewisia pygmaea by Baa

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #5 of Lewisia pygmaea by Todd_Boland

By growin
Thumbnail #6 of Lewisia pygmaea by growin


No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral kennedyh On Apr 9, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

I am interested that you say it does not like to be wet. Where I saw it growing wild in British Columbia, near Kelowna, it was quite a rare plant and it grew in a hanging bog. A small swampy area on an otherwise steep forested hillside, although the plants were certainly not in the wettest parts of the swamp.

Neutral Baa On Apr 4, 2003, Baa wrote:

A small, deciduous perennial from North America.

Has linear, deep green leaves that stand up stright from the base of the plant. Bears small, pink, pale pink or white flowers on prostrate or sometimes erect stems.

Flowers July-September

Loves a very well drained, acid soil in full sun. Hates being too wet so keep an eye on the watering.

Despite it's hardiness, it died for me during the winter (I suspect it was too wet, even under cover) however, lots of tiny seedlings have popped up in the pot this spring.

Sow fresh, they can be difficult to germinate from older seed.

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