Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 26 Jan 2004 10:33:20 PST
A good source for information on cultivating lewisias is B. LeRoy Davidson, 
"Lewisias," Timber Press, 2000. Davidson wrote from the perspective of the 
Pacific Northwest of North America, but he was in contact with many growers 
in the UK and eastern North America and mentions their experiences with the 

An important point Davidson makes is that almost all lewisias need plenty 
of water in their growing season. Those that live in regions with very arid 
summers typically inhabit seeps, snowmelt areas, and deep screes where the 
substrate remains moist a long time. They are, however, quite susceptible 
to bacterial and fungal diseases, which is probably what carries them off 
east of the Rocky Mountains and in other areas with hot, humid summers.

The species Lewisia columbiana seems to be the most successful in damp 
climates, particularly its showy subsp. rupicola. There are a number of 
hybrids from this species.

A good selection of evergreen lewisias can be obtained from Mt. Tahoma Nursery:

Deciduous species are easily grown from seed. They hybridize freely in 
cultivation, so wild-collected seed is safest if you want taxonomic purity 
(not guaranteed, however; there are hybrid populations in the wild). I grow 
these in the bulb frame along with western American bulbs and enjoy them a 
lot in the spring.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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