The Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Milde

Flowering on Sheer Rock

Not many plants will grow on the hard stone types we have in Norway. But if you are the lucky owner of a fine horizontal rock crevice or have a stone wall in your garden, you have a first-class planting area for lewisias that normally are hard to grow in the wet climate we have here.

Siskiyou Lewisia (Lewisia colyledon) in a fine crevice near the Heather...
Siskiyou Lewisia (Lewisia colyledon) in a fine crevice near the Heather Garden.
Alf Helge Søyland

Lewisia cotyledon, Siskiyou Lewisia, is a relatively hardy plant that tolerates cold winters, but it does not tolerate too much moisture in the root crown. A horizontal crevice, where the root can find the exact amount of moisture it requires, will also give sufficient protection against rain during winter.

Our lewisias were planted more than 15 years ago in a crevice sized c. 5 cm between the Heather Garden and the Lace House. We put some good soil and fertilizer into the crevice and planted the rosettes vertically. Since then, they have grown and have been flowering every year with little care and maintenance.

The Lewisia cotyledon that we have here are seedlings that vary in colour, but they are also available in a multitude of varieties on the market.

Another species, Tweedy’s Pussypaws, Lewisia tweedyi, which has finished its flowering, is also growing in the crevice. In the Alpine Garden of the Botanical Garden at Milde, you will also find other varieties of lewisia.