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Claytonia lanceolata (Western spring beauty)
Glase, Terry

Claytonia lanceolata

Claytonia lanceolata Pall. ex Pursh

Western Spring Beauty, Lanceleaf Spring Beauty, Spring Beauty, Indian Potato

Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)


USDA Symbol: CLLA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

This springbeauty has from one to a few strap-shaped, basal, fleshy leaves. The short flower stalk bears a pair of stem leaves and short clusters of five-petaled flowers. Plant size is dependent on size of the corm and local conditions. Size ranges from 2-10 in. tall. A small, slender, delicate plant with a pair of succulent leaves at midstem and a loose raceme of white, pink, or rose, bowl-shaped flowers. Flowers are usually white to pink, but can be pale yellow or orange.

As the name suggests, Western springbeauty blooms in the spring, barely waiting for the snow to melt. This perennial grows from a deeply buried, spherical, underground stem; when cooked, the stem tastes like a potato.


From the Image Gallery

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: B.C. to s. CA, e. to Alt. & NM
Native Habitat: Spring-moist, sagebrush foothills to alpine slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Spring-moist soils.


Description: Propagate using corms or seeds. Seeds should be sown as soon as they ripen.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Claytonia lanceolata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Claytonia lanceolata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Claytonia lanceolata


Record Modified: 2023-02-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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