Scientific Name:
Lewisia rediviva
cardiac glycosides
Flower Color:
woods, roadsides, pastures, waste places

Geographical Distribution

Bitter root distribution - United States

Bitter Root

Lewisia rediviva

Dogbane, Indian hemp, Hemp dogbane, Spreading dogbane
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Bitter root (Lewisia rediviva) is an erect, branching, rhizomatous, perennial herb, which secretes a milky sap when broken. It produces white or greenish white flowers arranged in 2-inch wide, loose, terminal, branched clusters at the ends of the stems or at the ends of the branches.

Toxic components
L. rediviva strongly resembles milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and they are often mistaken for one another. Like milkweed, it is also highly toxic as it contains cardiac glycosides throughout the entire plant.