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Claytonia caroliniana

Carolina springbeauty add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: rich

Height: 4"-12"

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white, pink

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6

Additional Tags: clumping, colonizing, edible, ephemeral, naturalizing, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Claytonia caroliniana  (Carolina springbeauty)
  • Claytonia caroliniana  (Carolina springbeauty)
  • Claytonia caroliniana  (Carolina springbeauty)

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Description

Claytonia caroliniana

Also known as:

Carolina springbeauty

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

As suggested by its common name, Carolina springbeauty truly is a springtime beauty. It is a diminutive ephemeral wildflower. All above ground parts die back in summer when the plant goes dormant after seeding. The flowers are only 1/2" across, white with deep pink veins. The green leaves are oval, elongated, smooth, and attached mid-stem.

Cultivation

Claytonia caroliniana prefers moist, rich soil, and the filtered light provided by deciduous woods and margins. Its flowers are very attractive but small, so if used as a specimen, it should be planted in the foreground, close to foot traffic where it can be seen up-close. Because it will go dormant by mid-summer, it can easily be mixed in with later emerging ornamentals and wildflowers. Can be used as a substitute for snowdrops to naturalize large areas. The grass-like foliage will continue to grow after flowering, and should be allowed to die back naturally, as this is a necessary cycle for the maintenance of healthy bulbs. The blooming period begins in early spring. Zones 4-6

Propagation

It is easiest to propagate by dividing its tuberous rhizomes when the plant goes dormant. Can be propagated from seed.

Additional Notes

The leaves of Claytonia caroliniana broader than those of Claytonia virginica, to which it is very similar. The former is also much less common that the latter, and should not be collected in the wild. The tuberous roots are edible, have a chestnut-like flavor, and can be prepared much in the way as potatoes. They are however quite small and large amounts will need to be collected to provide enough for a meal.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Caryophyllales
Family Portulacaceae Pursulane family
Genus Claytonia springbeauty
Species Claytonia caroliniana Carolina springbeauty