Claytonia virginica L. 

Spring Beauty

Names and Myths

Claytonia Of John Clayton 1685-1773,

virginica of Virginia

Natural history / Folklore

Flowers close when the sun is low or when rain is likely. Closing prevents the dilution of the nectar.

C. virginica moist woods and clearings, C. caroliniana found in the mountains. Corms are edible and were a favorite of Indian children, known as fairy-spuds and wild potatoes, a favorite food of the Grizzly bear.6,29 The leaves of these species can also be eaten raw.32


March to May White flowers, five rounded petals with pink stripes. C.v. has narrow opposite grass-like leaves, C.c. has wider leaves. Rich open wooded slopes and floodplains.

Species List Family Group
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