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Plant Profile: Lewisia ‘George Henley’

Lewisias are herbaceous perennials native to north facing cliffs in western North America.  They are members of the Montiaceae, a family that also includes Claytonia and purslanes.   This cultivar is clump-forming, evergreen and grows up to 6″ tall.  It forms rosettes of spoon-shaped dark green leaves that are fleshy, waxy, and up to 3″ long.  In late spring and summer loose cymes of conical, purple-pink flowers with magenta veins appear.  Plants are best grown in a wall crevice or scree but is also a good choice for alpine and rock gardens.  They grow best where summers are cool.   The genus name, Lewisia, honors the American explorer Meriwether Lewis  (1774 – 1809) of Lewis and Clark fame.  Lewis discovered the first Lewisia in 1806.  

Type: Evergreen perennial

Bloom: Clusters of purple-pink flowerw with magenta veins in late spring to summer

Size: 6″ H x 4″ W

Light: Partial sun to full sun

Soil: Average, medium moist, very well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Put gravel around the crown when planting to ward off rot.

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, slugs, snails, crown rot in wet conditions

Propagation: Division of offsets

Companion Plants: Chiastophyllum oppositifolium, Arenaria balearica, Ramonda myconi