Claytonia caroliniana, the Carolina springbeauty, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Montiaceae. It was formerly placed in the Portulacaceae. Its native range is eastern and central North America. Its most commonly found in the New England area of the United States but its habitat extends from Ontario and Newfoundland and south to Alabama. It grows approximately 6 inches tall in forests and flood plains.
Claytonia caroliniana is a flowering, woodland perennial herb. It grows from March though June and is one of the earliest spring ephemerals. The plant grows from spherical underground tubers in light humus. They sprout and bloom before the tree canopy develops. Once the area is shaded, the plants whither leaving only the roots and rhizomes underground.
The flower consist of five pink and purple petals. Dark pink veins accent the petals and give them a striped appearance. The carpels are fused together. They grow on a stem 3 - 10 inches tall and that has a single pair of broad leaves. This distinguishes it from the virginica variety which is very similar.
The plant is edible but its usability is limited due to difficulty harvesting and the small quantities each plant produces. Its tuberous roots are edible and rich in starch and can be cooked or eaten raw . The leaves can be eaten as well. The tuberous roots are eaten by eastern chipmunks and white-footed mice.
- "Claytonia caroliniana". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- "Claytonia caroliniana". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
- "Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina spring-beauty)". Go Botany. New England Wildflower Society.
- "Adirondack Wildflowers: Carolina Springbeauty | Claytonia caroliniana". www.adirondackvic.org. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- "Adirondack Wildflowers: Carolina Springbeauty | Claytonia caroliniana". wildadirondacks.org. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- Chayka, Katy; Dziuk, Peter (2016). "Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina Spring Beauty)". Minnesota Wildflowers. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- Miller, J. M. and K. L. Chambers. 2006. Systematics of Claytonia (Portulacaceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 78: 1-236. ISBN 0-912861-78-9
- "John Clayton". Encyclopedia Virginia.
- Miller, John M. (2003). "Claytonia caroliniana". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 4. New York and Oxford – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
- "Claytonia caroliniana". Plants for a Future.
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