Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Claytonia virginica L.
Virginia springbeauty, Springbeauty
Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)
A low plant with loose clusters of pink or whitish flowers, striped with dark pink. A pair of smooth, grass-like leaves occurs halfway up the slender, 4-12 in. stem. Several pink or white flowers with darker pink veins are borne in a loose cluster in the upper part of the stem. Plant disappears from above ground shortly after the seed capsules have ripened but does not leave a large gap in the garden.
This most attractive spring perennial
is spectacular in large patches. It grows from an underground tuber like a small potato; this has a sweet, chestnut-like flavor. Native
Americans and colonists used them for food and they are still enjoyed by those interested in edible wild plants. A similar species, Carolina Springbeauty (C. caroliniana
), has broader, oval
leaves. It is found primarily in the moist woods of the eastern mountains and extends westward to Minnesota.
Image Gallery: 21 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May
AL , AR , CT , DE , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: NS
, QC Native Distribution:
N.S. to GA, w. to MN, s.e. NE, e. KS & e. TX Native Habitat:
Rich woods; thickets USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils. Prefers high humus.
Conditions Comments: Tolerates a variety of soils. Increases rapidly.
BenefitUse Food: First Nations and colonists used them for food and they are still enjoyed by those interested in edible wild plants. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes