Claytonia virginica (Virginia Spring Beauty)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade; moist woods|
|Bloom season:||April - June|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in a raceme at the top of the plant that elongates to several inches as the plant matures. Each flower is ½ inch across with 5 pale pink to white petals with darker pink veins, and 5 stamens with deep pink tips. The flowers close up at night and on cloudy days. Closed flowers and buds nod down and become erect when the flower opens. One plant has a single cluster of 5 or more flowers, though not all may be open at the same time.
A single pair of leaves are oppositely attached about midway up the stem. There may also be a few leaves around the base of the plant. Leaves are very narrow, up to 6 inches long and ¼ inch wide, have a prominent central vein, smooth edges, and curve downward.
A similar species is Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) but leaves on the latter are shorter and much wider, and is a much less common plant.
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- Virginia Spring Beauty plant
- more flowers
- Virginia Spring Beauty habitat
- a group of Virginia Spring Beauty plants
- some more flowers
- more plants
- Virginia Spring Beauty in early evening
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Park, Ramsey County, and Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Rice County, and in Mille Lacs County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?