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. cotyledon (S. Watson) B.L. Rob.


Root + caudex thick at top, ± slender, branched below
Leaves many, in rosette, 3–9 cm, ovate or spoon-shaped, fleshy, entire or not, tapered to base; tip round
Inflorescence: stems generally 1–6, 10–30 cm, each with a ± flat-topped, 12–many-flowered panicle; flowers exserted from leaves; bracts among flowers and 2–4 below, gland-toothed; pedicels generally < flowers
Flower: sepals 2, ± 1/3 X corolla, round or truncate, margin gland-toothed; petals generally 7–13, ± 15 mm, oblanceolate or obovate, white or pink with darker veins, tip ± notched; stamens 6–9; stigmas 3–4
Chromosomes: n=14
Ecology: Rocky, sandy slopes, subalpine forests
Elevation: 150–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Idaho
Following vars. not clearly distinct, overlap in range. Hybrids with L. leana reported (see L. columbiana).

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