Definition of bitterroot in US English:



  • A plant of the purslane family with showy pinkish-white flowers on short stems. Found throughout the rocky areas of western North America, it is particularly abundant in Montana, of which it is the state flower.

    Lewisia rediviva, family Portulacaceae

    • ‘They stopped in the Bitterroot and Hell Gate [Clark Fork] Valleys to dig bitterroot before ‘returning to their own country over the Bitterroot Range.’’
    • ‘But at the eleventh hour, anxious to complete, I resorted to transferring a photograph of a bitterroot bloom to fabric.’
    • ‘During the summer, the Nez Percé gathered a wide variety of plants, including wild onions and carrots, bitterroots, blackberries, strawberries, huckleberries, and nuts.’
    • ‘Women gathered roots, prairie turnips, bitterroot, and camas bulbs in the early summer.’
    • ‘Then he gave the officer a hunk of bitterroot, to ward off evil.’
    • ‘My state flower is the bitterroot and my state bird is the western meadowlark.’
    • ‘Lately his slumber had been disturbed by dreams of yellow roses and pink heather, bachelor's-buttons and bitterroot and salmon poppies and moss rose and blue flax and red tulips and yellow water lilies.’
    • ‘Lewis took home six bitterroot specimens, which he later gave to botanist Frederick Pursh, who named the genus after Lewis.’