Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Lewisia triphylla

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MontiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb; generally fleshy. Stem: 1--many, generally glabrous. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; cyme, raceme, panicle, umbel, or flower 1. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(9), free; petals (1)2--19, free or +- fused; stamens 1--many, epipetalous or not, anthers pink, rose, or yellow; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovules 1--many, placenta basal or free-central; styles (0)1--8, generally fused at base, branched. Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2--3-valved. Seed: 1--many, shiny or +- pebbly or sculptured, black or gray, generally with oil-filled appendage as food for ants.
Genera In Family: +- 22 genera, +- 230 species: generally temperate America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Kerguelen Is, New Zealand, southern Africa, poorly represented in Europe; some cultivated (Lewisia, Calandrinia). Note: All CA genera previously included in Portulacaceae; details of flowers, seeds require 20× magnification.
Unabridged Note: May include Hectorellaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: LewisiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb generally from short, thick, +- branched taproot; tuberous root generally 0 (or spheric). Stem: prostrate to erect, scape-like or branched. Leaf: generally in basal rosette and cauline, simple, entire or not; base wide; margin generally +- translucent. Inflorescence: +- scapose; cyme, panicle, raceme, or +- umbel; stems 1--many, generally leafless but bracted, disjointing in age or not, 1--many flowered; pedicel 0--30 mm. Flower: sepals 2--8, free, persistent; petals 4--19, white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, rose, purple, overlapped in bud, often with pink or dark purple veins; stamens 1--50; styles 2--8, fused at base, stigmas 2--8, thread-like. Fruit: 6--9 mm, spheric or ovoid, circumscissile near middle or below, translucent. Seed: 1--50, dark, generally shiny, smooth or finely tubercled, 1--4 mm in size.
Species In Genus: 18 species: western North America, 16 in flora. Etymology: (Captain Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark Expedition, 1774--1809) Note: Many hybrids, cultivated, including Lewisia ×whiteae Purdy in California; Lewisia columbiana (A. Gray) B.L. Rob. not in California.
Unabridged Note: Many hybrids, cultivars (Mathew 1989), including Lewisia ×whiteae Purdy in California, as well as Lewisia columbiana (Howell ex A. Gray) B.L. Rob. from Douglas Co., Oregon north to British Columbia; Lewisia maguirei A.H. Holmgren endemic to Nevada; Lewisia sacajaweana B.L. Wilson & E. Rey-Vizgirdas restricted to Idaho; Lewisia tweedyi, endemic to northern Cascades of Washington, British Columbia now placed in Cistanthe.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Lauramay T. Dempster

Lewisia triphylla (S. Watson) B.L. Rob.
Habit: Taproot 0; tuberous root spheric, with many rootlets. Leaf: basal withering before flower, cauline leaves 3--5, whorled, less often 2, opposite, 1--6 cm, linear or thread-like, entire, tapered to base, tip obtuse. Inflorescence: stems 1--several, generally 2--7 cm above ground, each with open, 1--25-flowered cluster; flowers included in or exserted from leaves; bracts among flowers, +- lanceolate, entire; pedicels 5--15(25) mm. Flower: sepals 2, +- 1/2 × corolla, ovate, entire; petals 5--9, 4--7 mm, oblong-oblanceolate, white or +- pink, veins purple, tips rounded; stamens 3--5; stigmas 3--5. Fruit: 3--4 mm. Seed: 8--25, 1 mm.
Ecology: Moist sandy or gravelly slopes, grassy meadows, open conifer forest; Elevation: 1300--3400 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, CaRH, SN, Wrn; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Rocky Mountains. Flowering Time: May--Aug Note: Hybridizes with Lewisia nevadensis.
Synonyms: Claytonia triphylla S. Watson; Erocallis triphylla (S. Watson) Rydb.; Oreobroma triphyllum (S. Watson) Howell
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Lauramay T. Dempster
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Next taxon: Lewisia ×whiteae

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botanical illustration including Lewisia triphylla


Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Lauramay T. Dempster 2016. Lewisia triphylla, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 31, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 31, 2016.

Lewisia triphylla
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Lewisia triphylla
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Lewisia triphylla
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Lewisia triphylla
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Lewisia triphylla
click for enlargement
© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Lewisia triphylla
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© 2008 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Lewisia triphylla in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Lewisia triphylla:
KR, NCoRH, CaRH, SN, Wrn;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.