Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Claytonia virginica


Virginia springbeauty, Springbeauty


Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)



Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
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 to oblong 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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit:
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: 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 , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.S. to GA, w. to MN, s.e. NE, e. KS & e. TX
Native Habitat: Rich woods; thickets

Growing Conditions

Light 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.

Benefit

Use 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

Last Update: 2011-04-25