E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lewisia pygmaea (A. Gray) B.L. Rob.
alpine lewisia
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15980)

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Distribution of Lewisia pygmaea
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Lewisia pygmaea var. pygmaea

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick, branched or simple taproot and thick stem-base; stems ascending to erect, solitary to several, simple, 1.5-6 cm tall.
Basal leaves few to many, linear to lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, 1-3 mm wide; stem leaves opposite, bract-like, borne at or below midlength.
Inflorescence of solitary flowers on stalks 1-8 cm long; floral bracts lacking; petals 6-9, white to pink, egg-shaped to oblong, 6-17 mm long, usually glandular-bristly; sepals 2, 2-5 mm long, jagged or toothed; stamens 4-12.
Capsules, 3-6 mm long; seeds 15 or more, dark brown, shiny, 1-1.2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic rocky slopes and sandy or gravelly meadows from the montane to alpine zones; infrequent in S BC; S to MT, NM, AZ and CA, disjunct in YT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lewisia pygmaea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 2060 2060 2060
Slope Gradient (%) 7 7 7
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
96 95 96
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 5 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lewisia minima (A. Nels.) A. Nels.
Lewisia pygmaea var. aridorum Bartlett
Lewisia sierrae Ferris
Oreobroma pygmaeum (A. Gray) Howell
Talinum pygmaeum A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References