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Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
Smith, R.W.

Claytonia virginica

Claytonia virginica L.

Virginia Springbeauty, Springbeauty

Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)


USDA Symbol: clvi3

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

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

38 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall when flowering.

Bloom Information

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


USA: 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 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.


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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate using corms or seeds. Seeds should be sown as soon as they ripen.
Seed Collection: Seeds mature in early summer.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
July 23, 2008
Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
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Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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


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


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

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