Herb: Pigmy Bitterroot
Latin name: Lewisia pygmaea
Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)
Edible parts of Pigmy Bitterroot:Root - cooked. Steeped and boiled. It can also be dried for later use. The root is said to be extremely nutritious, though some native North American Indian tribes believed that eating it could cause insanity. It is easiest to use when the plant is in flower because the outer layer of the root (which is very bitter) slips off easily at this time of the year. The root has a good taste though a decided bitter flavour develops afterwards.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Open, often gravelly, moist to dryish areas in mountains to above the tree line.
Propagation of Pigmy Bitterroot:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in a very freely draining soil. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in a cold frame. One months cold stratification should improve germination, though this is still likely to be very slow. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March/April. Very difficult.
Cultivation of the herb:Open, often gravelly, moist to dryish areas in mountains to above the tree line.
Medicinal use of Pigmy Bitterroot:None known
Known hazards of Lewisia pygmaea:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.