Claytonia virginica L.
Virginia Springbeauty, Springbeauty
Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)
USDA Symbol: clvi3
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, 4-16 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall when flowering.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
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 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagate using corms or seeds. Seeds should be sown as soon as they ripen.
Seed Collection: Seeds mature in early summer.
Commercially Avail: yes
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Bibref 199 - National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers : Eastern Region (2001) J. W. Thieret; W. A. Niering; N. C. Olmstead
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Claytonia virginica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Claytonia virginica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Claytonia virginica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-01
Research By: TWC Staff