Flora Pittsburghensis.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Claytonia virginicaPhotographed April 18.

Among the earliest woodland flowers, Spring Beauties are abundant and cheerful when the rest of the woods is just waking up.

In the most recent classification, Claytonia is placed in the new family Montiaceae. Older systems place it in the Purslane family, Portulacaceae.

Clayonia virginicaPhotographed April 7.

Note the long, narrow leaves. Another species of Claytonia, C. caroliniana (Carolina Spring Beauty), has similar flowers but broader spoon-shaped leaves. It is much rarer around here than the common C. virginica.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

CLAYTONIA [Gronov.] L. SPRING BEAUTY. Sepals 2, ovate, free, persistent. Stamens 6, adhering to the short claws of the petals. Style 3-cleft at the apex. Pod l-celled, 3-valved, 3-6-seeded. — Perennials, our two species sending up simple stems in early spring from a small deep tuber, bearing a pair of opposite leaves, and a loose raceme of pretty flowers. Corolla rose-color with deeper veins, opening for more than one day. (Named in honor of Dr. John Clayton, one of our earliest botanists, who contributed to Gronovius the materials for the Flora Virginica.)

C. virginica L. Leaves linear-lanceolate, elongated (7-16 cm. long).— Moist open woods, N. S. to Sask., and southw.; common, especially westw. and southw.

Spring Beauty

Examining the flowers very closely reveals bright pink stamens.

Claytonia virginica

Spring Beauty

Family Portulacaceae (Purslane Family) | Index of Families