in A. Gray et al., Syn. Fl. N. Amer. 1: 268. 1897.
Taproots gradually ramified distally. Stems ascending to suberect, 10–12 (–30) cm. Leaves: basal leaves evergreen, sessile or abruptly or gradually narrowed to broad petiole, blade oblanceolate, obovate, spatulate, or rarely ± linear or ± orbiculate, ± flattened, 3–14 cm, margins entire, crisped, or toothed, apex truncate, emarginate, retuse, or rounded; cauline leaves alternate, intergrading with bracts, blade oblong to ovate, 5–10 mm, margins glandular-toothed, apex acute to occasionally obtuse. Inflorescences dense, paniculate to subumbellate cymes, 10–50-flowered; bracts alternate or opposite proximally, 2 at each flowering node distally, obovate to lanceolate, 2–4 mm, margins glandular-toothed, apex acute. Flowers pedicellate, not disarticulate in fruit; sepals 2, suborbiculate to broadly ovate, 4–6 mm, herbaceous at anthesis, margins glandular-toothed, apex obtuse to truncate; petals 7–10, usually pink-purple with pale and darker stripes, less often white, cream with pink-orange stripes, ± orange, or yellow, oblanceolate, obovate, or spatulate, (8–) 12–20 mm; stamens 5–12; stigmas 2–4; pedicel 2–5 mm. Capsules 3–5 mm. Seeds 4–15, 1.5 mm, shiny, smooth.
Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).
The varieties occasionally co-occur. Natural hybrids with Lewisia leeana are known (see discussion under 8. L. leeana).
|1||Basal leaf blade margins entire or slightly undulate, not toothed or crisped; petals (8-)12-14 mm||Lewisia cotyledon var. cotyledon|
|1||Basal leaf blade margins strongly crisped or toothed; petals 12-20 mm||> 2|
|2||Basal leaf blade margins toothed.||Lewisia cotyledon var. heckneri|
|2||Basal leaf blade margins strongly crisped||Lewisia cotyledon var. howellii|