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Claytonia virginica

Virginia springbeauty add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich

Height: 6"-10"

Bloom Time: March, April

Bloom Color: white, pink

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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

Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
  • Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
  • Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
  • Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)
  • Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)

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Description

Claytonia virginica

Also known as:

Virginia springbeauty

,

narrow-leaved spring beauty

,

meadow beauty

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

As the common name "Virginia springbeauty" would suggest, this species truly is a spring beauty. It is a diminutive ephemeral wildflower. All above ground parts die back in summer when the plant goes dormant after seeding. It is a profuse bloomer with flowers that are only 1/2" across, white with deep pink veins. The green leaves are elongated, smooth, and grass-like.

Cultivation

Claytonia virginica 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 virginica are thinner and longer than those of Claytonia caroliniana, to which it is very similar. The former is also much more common that the latter. 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, 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

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: MA
  • Historical: RI

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 virginica Virginia springbeauty