|Eastern spring beauty at Radnor Lake|
|Natural range in North America|
Claytonia virginica, the Virginia springbeauty, eastern spring beauty, grass-flower or fairy spud, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Montiaceae. Its native range is eastern North America. Its scientific name honors Colonial Virginia botanist John Clayton (1694–1773).
Springbeauty is a perennial plant, overwintering through a tuberous root. It is a trailing plant growing to 5–40 cm (2–16 in) long. The leaves are slender lanceolate, 3–14 cm (1 1⁄4–5 1⁄2 in) long and 0.5–1.3 cm (0.20–0.51 in) broad, with a 6–20 cm (2 1⁄4–7 3⁄4 in) long petiole.
The flowers are 0.7–1.4 cm (0.28–0.55 in) in diameter with five pale pink or white (rarely yellow) petals, and reflect UV light. It has a raceme inflorescence, in which its flowers branch off of the shoot. The individual flowers bloom for three days, although the five stamens on each flower are only active for a single day. Flowering occurs between March and May depending on part of its range and weather. The seeds are between 0.2 and 0.3 cm (0.08 and 0.12 in) in diameter and a shiny black. The seeds are released from the capsule fruit when it breaks open. Elaiosomes are present on the seeds and allow for ant dispersal.
Habitat and range
Springbeauty is found in the Eastern temperate deciduous forest of North America. It is noted for its abundance throughout many parts of its range, especially in forests. The plant can be found throughout many different habitat types including lawns, city parks, forests, roadsides, wetlands, bluffs, and ravines.
Hammond's yellow spring beauty
This plant has been used medicinally by the Iroquois, who would give a cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots to children suffering from convulsions. They would also eat the raw roots, believing that they permanently prevented conception. They would also eat the roots as food, as would the Algonquin people, who cooked them like potatoes. Spring beauty corms along with the entire above ground portion of the plant are safe for human consumption.
- "Claytonia virginica". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- Britton, Nathaniel Lord; Brown, Addison (1913). An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions: From Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian. 2. C. Scribner's sons. p. 37. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "Claytonia virginica L.". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden.
- Miller, John M. (2003). "Claytonia virginica". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). 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.
- Schemske, D.; Willson, M.; Melampy, M.; Miller, L.; Verner, L.; Schemske, K.; Best, L. (1978). "Flowering ecology of some spring woodland herbs". Ecology. 59 (2): 351–366.
- Lewis, Walter H.; Oliver, Royce L.; Suda, Yutaka (1967). "Cytogeography of Claytonia virginica and Its Allies". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 54 (2): 153–171. JSTOR 2395001.
- Miller, J. M.; Chambers, K. L. (2006). "Systematics of Claytonia (Portulacaceae)". Systematic Botany Monographs. 78: 1–236. ISBN 0-912861-78-9.
- "Claytonia virginica". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA.
- Wright, Jim (June 4, 2015). "Yellow Spring Beauty: Meet the Rare Wildflower of New Jersey". Conservancy Talk. Nature Conservancy.
- "Hammond's Yellow Spring Beauty" (PDF). New Jersey Natural Heritage Program Factsheet.
- Herrick 1977, p. 317.
- Herrick 1977, p. 318.
- Waugh, F. W. (1916). Iroquis Foods and Food Preparation. Ottawa: Canada Department of Mines. p. 120.
- Black, Meredith Jean (1980). Algonquin Ethnobotany: An Interpretation of Aboriginal Adaptation in South Western Quebec. Mercury Series Number 65. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. p. 84.
- Thayer, Samuel (2006). The Forager's Harvest. Forager's Harvest. pp. 193–199. ISBN 0976626608.
- Herrick, James William (1977). Iroquois Medical Botany (PhD thesis). Albany: State University of New York.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Claytonia virginica.|
|Wikiversity has bloom time data for Claytonia virginica on the Bloom Clock|