Get Out Your Crayons: Lewisia Time

larry_geneMay 19, 2009

The 2009 crop:

Good thing I took pictures today; it is raining steadily and Lewisias look bedraggled after a lot of rain.

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ian_wa(Sequim)

Nice pic. They look great and I especially like the yellow one for some reason. The red lava rock works well there too. Everyone scoffs at red lava rock, but I don't care; I like it and I may just have to use it all over the place in my new garden. Although I'd prefer black if I could find it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:04PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I've been given the impression the red is black with paint on it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:20PM
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larry_gene

...and it took forever to paint all those tiny black rocks red. I use the red lava here and there in various sizes. It shouldn't be scoffed at, especially when used for rock garden plants.

Ian, if you're referring to the orangy-yellow one in the background, it has an excellent stem/bloom habit. I donated a large start of this recently to a local plant sale. The pale yellow one in the foreground is nice also.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:59PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Firerocks.biz has three colors, including red, mentions concerns about painting - says its all natural. The red sold here even leaves red on the inside of the back, as though paint were coming off.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 2:00AM
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larry_gene

Now you've got me hooked on their "chocolate" lava rock.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:28AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Lovely little plant. I've had one for a few years but it was in a pot with not enough drainage. Last winter, I kept it in my cold greenhouse just so that it didn't get too wet. It wsn't looking too happy -- all of the flower stems were short, so I tugged it out of the pot and planted it in a place atop a wall where there is very good drainage. Within a few days, the flower stems stretched out and the flowers are now pink! I have a two-toned Lewisia.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:11PM
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larry_gene

That reminds me of the plant's history, a specimen sent back east from Idaho by Meriwether Lewis circa 1805 revived some months later when a botanist put it in some water.

Hence the scientific name Lewisia rediviva.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 12:25AM
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JAYK(8b)

L. rediviva, or bitterroot, is a nice plant, but the Lewisias pictured in this thread are L. cotyledon.

Here is a link that might be useful: my favorite Lewisia

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:14AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

btw Larry Gene, your headline is SO apt! They do look like they belong in a childrens' storybook.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:48AM
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gardengal48

I've got an orange one - my favorite flower color - in full bloom right now. Lewisias make great container plants, especially when combined with sedums or other succulents, which also appreciate very sharp drainage.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 10:01AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Those are lovely!

Mine didn't make it through the winter, I assume because the drainage wasn't good enough. They were ten years old. :(

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 12:02PM
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larry_gene

I was speaking in general, but yes, the pictured plants are hybrids, originally from Rare Plant Research.

Thanks Dotty, crayons were the first thing that came to mind.

buyorsell (or any PDX-local member, if you would like a free new plant or two, try to email me via my forum "my page" link, it has worked in the past. Some of these plants shouldn't be put in the ground until 2010, but any could be repotted:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:58AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You have to keep damp and debris out of the rosettes or they are liable to rot out.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 2:18PM
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larry_gene

This past autumn/winter, I put several of those white woven landscape material bags over the Lewisias, deflecting much of the rain and overhead debris.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:10AM
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