bitterroot

[bit-er-root, -root]
noun
a plant, Lewisia rediviva, of the purslane family, having pink flowers and fleshy roots that are edible when young: the state flower of Montana.
Also, bitter root.


Origin:
1825–35, Americanism; bitter + root1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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bitterroot

(Lewisia rediviva), ornamental succulent plant of the purslane family (Portulacaceae), native to western North America and cultivated in rock gardens. The main stem and root merge into a tuberous structure. The leaves are barely 2.5 cm (1 inch) long, and the flowering stalk with pink or white flowers is also very short. The starchy root, resembling a forked radish, is edible in spring but acquires a bitter taste by summer. Other species of the genus, which has about 22 species, also are cultivated as rock-garden plants for their attractive flowers

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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