Profile of Lewisia

by Patricia Kaminski

Lewisia Flower Essence Qualities

Positive qualities: Profound expansiveness of the soul; star-like consciousness radiating exquisite sensitivity; the spirit breath of the cosmos united with the most tender aspects of human love and sensitivity

Patterns of imbalance: Tenuous hold on earth forces due to extensive astral forces that do not fully contract; “indigo” or autistic children who cannot bring their full soul forces into incarnation; protection and sustenance during pregnancy or in early childhood for highly expanded soul types

Botanical Information

The Three-Leaf Lewisia Lewisia triphylla is a member of the Miner’s Lettuce Family (Montiaceae) (previously classified in the Purslane Family, Portulacaceae), the same plant family as the Pussy Paws (Cistanthe umbellate, also known as Calyptridium umbellatum). It is related to the better-known Bitterroot, Lewisia rediva, named for Meriwether Lewis of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early nineteenth century, as he was introduced to the plant by the local Native American tribes in what is now Montana.

Three Leaf Lewisia is a wildflower native to the mountains of the western part of North America, including California’s Sierra Nevada range, found in moist seeps on sandy or gravelly slopes, often fed by snow melt. The common and species names derive from the three narrow succulent basal leaves that emerge from the moist seeps.

The diminutive Lewisia flowers emerge from the base of the plant, with hardly any stem, so one needs to lie down on the ground to see them in any detail. These star-like flowers have five to nine petals, two sepals and three to five stamens and stigmas. The petals are generally white with pink stripes and less than one centimeter (0.4 inches) in length.

Botanical classification note: This flower essence was previously identified as Lewisia disepala, a closely related plant, but it has since been determined that Lewisia triphylla is a more accurate botanical identification.

Understanding the Healing Gesture of the Lewisia

The tiny flowers of the Lewisia bloom only for a short while, forming a breath-taking star-field in the high mountains immediately after the snow melts. Sitting in contemplation of the enchanting Lewisia, one has the distinct feeling that its spiritual archetype has literally dropped from the highest heaven world. Each delicately banded pink and white blossom sparkles with iridescent silica beads, shimmering in the light of the sun, as though mirroring a distant Star World. This exquisite stellar blossom sits aloft a physical structure that is barely incarnated compared to most other plants that develop a more elaborate progression of leaves and stems before blossoming.

Using the Lewisia Flower Essence

This soul picture of Lewisia helps us to understand its healing qualities. The following themes have emerged from our case research:

Helping Children and Young Adults on the Autistic Spectrum

Lewisia has been especially used by practitioners working with children and young adults on the autistic spectrum. These individuals harbor extraordinary spiritual gifts and soul sensitivities, yet the challenge involves that of guiding these cosmic aspects of the soul into the physical body and practical expression in daily life.

Vania DeGrande is affiliated with Acesa Capuava, in Valinhos, Brazil, a social and educational organization that serves children and adults with autism, as well as related syndromes. She reports that Lewisia is one of the major flower essences used, “Lewisia acts as a very special and loving work in the souls of these children, who cannot fit in and find a grounding space or comfort in the functioning of their bodies. With this type of sensitivity, Lewisia greatly assists the work of other essences that also will work in regard to the body, helping to find one’s own pace, independence and pleasure of being and doing things. It helps to recognize one’s own sensitivity and use it positively in favor of love in the world.”

Read more detail of Vania DeGrande's work here and here.

General Support for Pregnant Mothers and Metabolically Challenged Young Children

Some mothers have reported Lewisia to be an important remedy when pregnant with a child that feels loosely connected with the earth dimension, including some who feel Lewisia helped to sustain a pregnancy that may have otherwise resulted in miscarriage. Parents and therapists have also used Lewisia along with flowers like Angelica, Shooting Star, Pink Yarrow and California Wild Rose as soul support of any young child who is highly sensitive and shows signs of emotional overwhelm, along with various forms of digestive issues and stress.

Spiritual Opening and Integration for Adults

Lewisia is also used by many adults who are experiencing spiritual emergence, often moving rapidly into new aspects of identity. In these instances, a more cosmic aspect of soul identity is incorporated into the earthly personality, or is retrieved from a submerged or troubled childhood identity. One woman described her use of Lewisia in this manner, “For me, the Lewisia is an incredibly spiritualizing flower. It seems to enlarge one’s Sense of Self in the most extraordinary way. ... While I was receiving it, I noticed that my sensitivity opened up tremendously. I started feeling other people's feelings, but with extreme love and compassion.”

Help in the Dying Process to Return to Spirit

The Lewisia is also used by many caregivers to help those who are in the last stages of dying. Approaching death, the body becomes small and fragile, yet the soul widens toward spiritual immensity. Lewisia helps one to surrender, and to feel the physical breath releasing itself to the Spirit Self. It is often used during these situations with other essences such as Lotus, Alpine Aster and Angelica, to help the dying person feel the full sanctity of spiritual emergence, providing greater ease, meaning and harmony in the dying journey.

The Legend of Bitterroot and its
Message for the Human Soul Today

A related species of Lewisia – also called Bitterroot - is Lewisia rediviva. This plant grows abundantly in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana and throughout the Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountains. Bitterroot was especially sacred to the indigenous tribe of the Salish. From these people emerges the story of how the Bitterroot flower came into being on earth. While there are many variations through oral tradition, the main features of the legend are as follows:

In the aftermath of a fiercely cold and bitter winter, a grieving mother took refuge in the wilderness to sing death songs for the dying and starving children of her tribe. A luminous Sun Being appeared to the woman in the form of a red bird. The mother was told: “The bitter tears of your sorrow have merged with the soil. So mighty is your soul force that a new plant is being formed. Its roots and leaves will remain close to the ground. But its blossom will have shining wings of Spirit in order that you may remember the Red Bird of the Sun who redeems your sorrow. Your people will eat the roots of this plant for sustenance. And in the blossom, you will remember that a mother’s tears found their way to my Spirit.”

Salish Mother and Her Children

In this legend, we glimpse the healing theme inherent in Lewisia flower essence: the sublime forces of spirit which must find their way into the hardness and suffering of the human soul. Yet, in our modern age, there are also differences. The mother’s tears which cry out today are for those children’s souls who are so sensitively filled with spirit that they cannot find their rightful way into the hardened, technological confines of our materialistic culture. They must learn to take up the “bitter” substance of earth, so that their luminous wings of spirit may shine through their bodily forms. Furthermore, the Lewisia can teach us how to break through the encrustation of the hardened bodily identity, especially when it is our time to return again to the Star Realm from whence we came.

Affirmation for Lewisia flower essence


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