PLANT: Perennial herbs with fleshy taproots. STEMS: simple or branched, prostrate to erect. LEAVES: all basal, sessile or petiolate, linear to spatulate, glabrous; margins entire. INFLORESCENCE: solitary or cymose; bracts present. FLOWERS: 1-60, sepals 2 and green or 5-9 and petal-like, orbicular-ovate; petals 5-15, white to dark pink; stamens 5-50; styles 3-9, branched. CAPSULE: circumscissile near base. SEEDS: many, round, black, smooth. NOTES: 16 species throughout w N. Amer. (for Meriwether Lewis, 1774-1809, of the Lewis and Clark expedition). Roots of most species were peeled and dried as a winter food by Native Americans (Moerman 1998). REFERENCES: Allison Bair, Marissa Howe, Daniela Roth, Robin Taylor, Tina Ayers, and Robert W. Kiger., 2006, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Portulacaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 1-22.