Bitterroot

From Academic Kids

Bitterroot
Bitterroot
Bitterroot
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Portulacaceae
Genus:Lewisia
Species:rediviva
Binomial name
Lewisia rediviva

The bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva Pursch) is a small, low, pink flower with yellow center that is the state flower of Montana in the United States.

The plant is a low-growing perennial with a fleshy taproot and a simple or branched base. The flower stems are leafless, 1-3 cm tall, bearing at the tip a whorl of 5-6 linear bracts which are 5-10 mm long. A single flowers appear each stem with 6-9 oval shaped sepals. They range in color from whitish to deep pink or rose during May and June. The petals (usually about 15) are oblong in shape and are 18-35 mm long in length.

At maturity, the bitterroot produces egg-shaped capsules with 6-20 nearly round seeds.

This perennial 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 roots were consumed by the Flathead Indians as an infrequent delicacy.

The bitterroot was selected to be the Montana State Flower on February 27, 1895. Three major geographic features, the Bitterroot Mountains (running north-south and forming the divide between Idaho and Montana), the Bitterroot Valley , and the Bitterroot River (also running north-south, terminating in the Clark Fork River in the city of Missoula), owe the origins of their names to this flower.


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