Lewisia longipetalla, or long-petalled lewisia, is a rare alpine semi-succulent featuring rosettes of long, narrow leaves and large flowers protruding from short stems. In the wild, it is only found in rocky, snow-covered crevices in a small swath of California’s Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, and in the landscape, the uncultivated species is extremely difficult to grow in a non-alpine environment.
Fortunately, the ‘Little’ series of L. longipetalla varieties was created when a L. longipetalla growing in cultivation in Scotland was by chance pollinated by a more climate-versatile Siskiyou lewisia (L. cotelydon). The result was ‘Little Plum’.
Rose-purple blooms, opening with a hint of orange, adorn the rosettes of this variety in the spring and fall. Cool, semi-shady summers may allow for summer blooms as well. At the base of the plant’s narrow 4-inch leaves, new plants will slowly offset, forming a clump over time. Drought and cold tolerant, Lewisias are an excellent choice for containers, patios, rock gardens, and for the cracks between rocks in a retaining wall. Like Lewisia cotyledon, Little Plum needs good drainage. This species will grow in conditions ranging from full sun to dappled shade.
- Large: This plant is sold in a one-quart (4.5″ Tall) pot or 4.5″ round pot for local orders and bare-rooted for shipped orders.
- Max height: 6″
- Max spread: 12″
- Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
- Light: Full sun to part shade
- Water: 1x per month in summer, natural rainfall is sufficient fall through spring; in particularly dry climates, water 2x/month fall through spring
- Soil: Well-drained, pH 5-7
- Wildlife: attracts pollinators, deer-resistant