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Claytonia virginica

Claytonia virginica L.

 

Virginia Spring-beauty

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyPortulacaceaeThe purslane family, including mostly succulent plants such as portulaca
GenusClaytoniaNamed for John Clayton, a Virginia court clerk and plant collector who amassed one of the most important botanical sample collections known
Speciesvirginica“From Virginia”

About plant names...

Virginia spring beauty is native to North America.

Identification: Plants are a mere 3-9" (7.6-22 cm) tall, poking hopefully out of the forest litter in the spring. Leaves are narrow and grasslike in shape, technically linear to lanceolate. They have more of a leathery texture, but at a size of about 1½" (3.8 cm) × ¼" (6.3 mm), they are easy to miss. Stems support a few flowers, each about ½" (1.3 cm) around, drooping when the flowers are closed. Each white flower has five rounded petals, and beautiful pink veins, though sometimes the veins are very faint. Blooms appear in April.

Edibility: The tubers, roots that resemble small potatoes, are up to 8" (20 cm) in diameter. Their flavor is variously described as nutty, radish-like when raw, or like a potato and a chestnut when cooked (see Plants for a Future).

Online References:

Claytonia virginica at Illinois Wildflowers

Claytonia virginica on Missouriplants.com

Claytonia virginica on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Claytonia virginica on the USDA Plants Database

Claytonia virginica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

3/19/2012 · Gunpowder Falls State Park, Cockeysville, MD
≈ 3½ × 3" (8.6 × 7.9 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

4/6/2012 · North Central Railroad Trail, Sparks, MD
≈ 4½ × 4½" (11 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

4/8/2012 · North Central Railroad Trail, Monkton Rd, Sparks, MD
≈ 4 × 4" (11 × 9.9 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 19 Jun 2014.

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Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

4/6/2012 · North Central Railroad Trail, Sparks, MD
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

(Foliage is from other plants) · 4/6/2012 · North Central Railroad Trail, Sparks, MD
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

5/16/2014 · Acton Arboretum, Action, MA
≈ 3½ × 3½" (8.6 × 9.6 cm)

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

4/6/2012 · North Central Railroad Trail, Sparks, MD
≈ 2½ × 2" (6.8 × 5.7 cm) ID is uncertain

Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring-beauty)

5/16/2014 · Acton Arboretum, Action, MA
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 15 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...