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Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

FAMILY: Montiaceae (Miner's Lettuce Family)

FLOWERING PERIOD: Mid March to early May

DESCRIPTION: Small, delicate perennial from deeply buried tuber from with two or more stems arise. Leaves two, opposite, strap-like and somewhat succulent. Flowers whitish to more commonly tinged heavily with pink due to prominent colored nectar guides on petals.

DISTRIBUTION: Common statewide, one of our most frequent spring wildflowers.

HABITAT: All manner of wooded sites, often long-persistent in pastures and lawns.

NOTES: The flowers of this species are an important early spring source of nectar for pollinating insects, mostly small native bees and some flies. This species is also known as fairy spuds referring to its small tuber. Spring beauty was recently removed from Portulaceae (Purslane Family).