Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty

by Joshua Heston

Sporting the unlikely Latin name of Claytonia virginica, this small plant is the epitome of spring wildflowers.

With purplish striping similar to Oxalis montana (Common Wood Sorrel), the Claytonia virginica can be initially confused with that plant.

Spring Beauty, also known as the Fairy Spud for its edible corms, is a member of the Portulacaceae family.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Size: 2 to 10 inches tall; flowers 1/2 inch wide. What to look for: flowers pink to white with dark pink veins, in loose clusters; 2 narrow, slightly succulent leaves on each slender stem. Habitat: meadows, streambanks, woods. In bloom: April through October.

— page 360, Wernett, Susan J., et al. North American Wildlife. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1986.

All photo credits: J. Heston. Location: Mincy-Drury Conservation Area, Taney County, Missouri • SOTO © Archive. 04/11/09

spring beauty

Plate 1.

Spring Beauty

Plate 2.

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