Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals, Bulbs
Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: acid, rich
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
Pricing & Availability
Claytonia virginicaAlso known as:
narrow-leaved spring beauty,
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.
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
It is easiest to propagate by dividing its tuberous rhizomes when the plant goes dormant. Can be propagated from seed.
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
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
|Species||Claytonia virginica||Virginia springbeauty|