Interesting Facts About Lewisia


Did you know that Lewisia is a genus of plants in the Mustard family? These flowers are native to western North America, and can be found in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 9. There are about 20 different species of Lewisia, with colors that range from white to pink to red.

Origin of lewisia

A close up of a flower

The origin of Lewisia is unknown, but it is thought to have originated in North America. Today, Lewisia can be found in North America and parts of China.

lewisia flowers

A close up of a flower

Lewisia blooms once every two to three years. The flowers are star-shaped (sepals) and range in color from bright, vibrant reds to browns and even tans; however, they are typically pinkish or white. These beautiful flowers grow on stalks ranging from one to five inches long. They bloom between June and August depending on the elevation at which they grow.

Growing lewisias

Lewisia is a great plant for cooler climates since it grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3a through 7b. Most varieties will tolerate heavy shade, but prefer filtered light

Native to the high elevations of North America, Lewisia cotyledon is a rock garden flower that thrives in well-drained soil. It is a geophyte and grows from a tuberous root system. You can grow lewisias in full sun or partial shade. Be aware that the plants do not like hot climates and will croak from too much heat from July through September. They thrive in temperatures close to freezing during this same time period. A cool environment helps promote the proper ratio of flowers to foliage on these plants, as most cultivars only produce three blooms per year. Keep them watered but not soggy wet or dry throughout their spring and summer seasons growing period which typically lasts between May and September. During their dormant period (October through February) you should stop watering them; however, they will not go completely into hibernation until temperatures reach 25 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Even then, allow the soil to become slightly moist before re-watering them again in March when growth begins.

Propagation of lewisia

Lewisia is best propagated by seed, which can be collected by removing the flower stalk after it has dried up and fallen off on its own. Wait twelve months for the seeds to develop inside of the stalk, then remove them from their pods. Store your seeds in mesh bags in a cool dry place until it is time to plant them outside during early spring after all danger of frost has passed. You can also divide larger lewisia clumps in the early spring by digging them up and separating small sections of their root system. Dig a hole deep enough to set each section into an upright position with the roots spread out, then cover it back over with soil. Keep them watered until new growth begins, at which point you should stop watering for an additional two weeks to allow them time to establish themselves. After that period has passed water once per week or as needed depending on the climate where you live.


Lewisia flowers make great dried bouquets because they are long lasting and do not contain any odor. To dry fresh lewisia flowers remove all moisture from them without damaging the petals. You can store these dried flowers in airtight glass containers to keep them preserved until you are ready to use them in your craft projects.

lewisia medicinal uses

Lewisia is used medicinally by American Indians, who crush the roots and stems of some species like L. rediviva and rub the mixture on their bodies while hunting deer for its smell (the crushed plant emits a smell similar to that of a deer’s urine). It was believed that the smell would fool deer into thinking they were tracking another buck, allowing hunters an opportunity to get close enough for an effective shot. Today, this same species of lewisia is sometimes made into a tea by boiling its leaves and flowers. The effects of drinking it include producing sweat which can be used as an antiperspirant, a sedative for respiratory conditions such as colds and asthma, and a treatment for gout.


In conclusion, Lewisia is a beautiful flower that can be found in many parts of North America. The plant produces flowers from March to October and thrives best when planted next to taller plants with plenty of sunlight or indoors near a window. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to add color and beauty into your garden, look no further than the lovely Lewisia!

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter