Bitterroot, or Rock Rose - Pinedale Online News, Wyoming
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Pinedale Online > News > June 2004 > Desert Wildflowers Still Abundant > Bitterroot, or Rock Rose
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Bitterroot, or Rock Rose. Photo by Pinedale Online.
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Bitterroot, or Rock Rose

It's not unusual to see a rocky outcrop or gravelly patch of ground covered with these flashy members of the purslane family and Montana’s state flower. Their fleshy fingerlike leaves, just an inch or so long, emerge out of nowhere as soon as warm weather arrives. When the buds appear, the leaves withdraw, and as soon as the blooms wither the whole thing disappears underground. We’ll just have to guess where they’ll come up next spring. Indians peeled and boiled the roots, but only early in the season – as they age, the roots become bitter.

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