Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Strain' Bitter root
The Lewisia genus is named for Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition. They are related to portulacas. There is a variety named L. rediviva which means 'brought back to life' that refers to its ability to revive after desiccation. A botanist in London who was studying Lewis' dried plant collection five years after Lewis returned to civilization found that the Lewisia was trying to grow! He planted it and it grew. Thus the name rediviva.
Apparently they are happiest growing in gravelly soil with sharp drainage to prevent wet-rotting of the roots. But they also like acid and fertile soil which presents a problem that I don't know how to overcome. How do you make a sandy, gravelly soil, rich and acid all at the same time? I guess they would do well in an alpine garden.
I bought our Lewisia from Avant Gardens already in full bloom. They really sent me a nice specimen of Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Strain' with a very nice dark pink color. I dug a large hole in some high ground with good drainage. Dumped some pea gravel in a third of the hole and mixed sand and potting soil for the planting. I hope this is enough to prevent root rot.
There are several varieties of Lewisias which would make a great collection of these interesting plants but some are close to being endangered by overcollection in the wild so buy from a reputable nursery that grows the plants from seed. Read more about this fascinating plant at Paghat's Garden.