Lewisia one of the most beautiful plants for the alpine garden
Lewisias are native wildflowers from the Pacific Northwest and from the Rocky Mountains where they are found in spectacular natural landscapes, often clinging precariously to rocky ledges and among boulders on rock-strewn slopes.
The plant grows on gravelly to heavy, usually dry soil, in scablands or foothills areas.
It is found on sagebrush plains to the lower mountains, in western and south central Montana.
It ranges in the north from British Columbia to southern California, and on the east side of the Cascade Range to Colorado and Arizona.
The most critical requirement for successfully growing Lewisias is
near-perfect drainage around the plants crown to prevent rot during the winter months.
Plenty of fine gravel, coarse sand or granite grit should be mixed in with the soil at planting time.
These have many uses in both the alpine garden and alpine house and much can be learned about their cultural requirements from looking at their habitat in the wild.
brilliantly colored flowers in spring, often followed by a second flush of flowers in summer.
Lewisias are indigenous to the western parts of North America where they are found in spectacular natural landscapes, often clinging precariously to rocky ledges and among boulders on rock-strewn slopes. Some species occur in damp gravelly places, some in alpine meadows and others in desert-like conditions. Such is the diversity of this fascinating genus.
There are eighteen species, many of which are evergreen, but others behave rather like bulbs and have a resting period below ground for part of the year. They are all rosette-forming dwarf hardy perennials. Several species have large showy flowers whilst others are smaller and intricate; all have great charm and beauty.
In the wild, the evergreen species are frequently found growing vertically in shady rocky crevices where the roots can reach moisture, but where the collar of the plant remains perfectly drained. In the garden, try and replicate these conditions. Give them crevices in the rock garden, scree garden, or dry stone.
Lewisias are happiest in an open position that is protected from the sun during the hottest part of the day: a North-facing position is ideal. Remember that Lewisias are extremely frost hardy plants and it is excess wet which is their biggest enemy.
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