You can sort of make out the fine, needle-like leaves of new growth on the outskirts of the obvious plant tops in the picture. I am thrilled that the plant has taken hold and is spreading! My first start was purchased at the Hamilton Farmer's Market in 2009. It appears to like the sandy, rocky, South-facing, 35 degree slope I chose.
Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, identified the plant in 1805. The Bitterroot became the Montana State Flower in 1895. Long before any of that, the Native Americans used the root for food, trade and medicinal purposes. It is an old and very interesting little pale pink flower. Tomorrow I am planting seeds (they are in my freezer right now) and adding some rock fortification to the small crop. Someday I hope there will be a whole hillside of Bitterroot blooming here in our yard. At least, I hope there are more than the voles can eat.