Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual or perennial herb, generally fleshy
Stems generally glabrous
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, sometimes stipuled
Inflorescence various
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(–8), free or fused at base; petals 3–18, free or ± fused; stamens 1–many, free or inserted on corolla; ovary superior or partly inferior, chamber 1, placenta free-central or basal; styles 2–8, generally fused at base
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2–3-valved
Seeds 1–many, generally black, generally shiny
Genera in family: ± 20 genera, ± 400 species: generally temp Am, Australia, s Africa; some cultivated (Lewisia, Portulaca, Calandrinia )
Reference: [Bogle 1969 J Arnold Arbor 50:566–598]
Family description and key to genera by Dieter H. Wilken & Walter A. Kelley.


Lauramay T. Dempster

Perennial, generally from short, thick, ± branched taproot, topped by short, sometimes very thick caudex at or below ground level, sometimes from spheric corm
Stem: aerial parts restricted to inflorescence
Leaves generally in basal rosette, simple, entire or not; base wide; margin generally ± translucent
Inflorescence ± scapose; stems 1–many, generally leafless but bracted, sometimes disjointing in age, 1–many-flowered
Flower: sepals 2–8, free, persistent; petals 4–18, variously colored, overlapping in bud; stamens 5–many; styles 2–8, fused at base, stigmas 2–8, thread-like
Fruit: capsule, translucent, spheric or ovoid, circumscissile near base
Seeds 2–many, dark, generally shiny, smooth or finely tuberculate
Species in genus: ± 20 species: w North America
Etymology: (Captain Meriwether Lewis, 1774–1809, of Lewis & Clark Expedition)
Reference: [Elliott 1966 Bull Alpine Gard Soc 34]
Horticultural information: DRN, IRR: pots and rock gardens only; DRY when dormant; DFCLT.


L. pygmaea (A. Gray) B.L. Rob.

Root + caudex generally largest at top, tapered below or short-fusiform or corm-like
Leaves generally several, in rosette, 2–8 cm, thread-like to linear-lanceolate, fleshy, entire, tapered to expanded base; tip blunt
Inflorescence: stems several–many, 1–5 cm, each generally 1-flowered (less often several-flowered); flowers generally included in leaves; bracts 2, at or below middle of stem, ± widely lanceolate, entire or dentate
Flower: sepals 2, ± 1/2 X corolla, ± ovate, margin ± jagged or toothed, rarely glandular, tip pointed, rounded, or truncate; petals 6–9, 5–10 mm, obovate, white, pink, or red, often striped, tip ± jagged; stamens ± 8; stigmas ± 4
Chromosomes: n=±33
Ecology: Rocky slopes, wet granite sand or gravel, moist meadows, along streams
Elevation: 1700–4500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges (Mount Pinos), San Bernardino Mountains, Warner Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Rocky Mtns
Flowering time: Jul–Aug
Synonyms: L. sierrae Ferris
Ill-defined, probably of hybrid origin; intergrades and apparently hybridizes with L. nevadensis , L. glandulosa , sometimes L. triphylla.

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