Virginia spring beauty

(Claytonia virginica var. virginica)

Conservation Status
Virginia spring beauty
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Virginia spring beauty is a 3 to 6 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on 1 to a few stems from a rounded, vertical, thickened corm. This is a spring ephemeral.

The stems are hairless and light green or reddish green.

There are 1 to few basal leaves rising on 2 to 8 long leaf stalks. The blades are linear, 1 to 5½ long, and 3 16 to ¾ wide. The stem has a single pair of opposite leaves. They are hairless and stalkless or on short leaf stalks that are barely differentiated from the leaf blades. The blades are linear, to 4 long but rarely less than 2¾ long. All of the leaves are at least 8 times as long as wide.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, elongated, loose cluster at the end of the stem. The cluster has 5 to 19 flowers on slender, ½ to 1 long flower stalks.

The flowers are fragrant and 3 16 to ½ in diameter. They have 5 petals that are white or pinkish with fine pink stripes. There are only 2 sepals beneath the petals. On sunny days the flowers open and the stems become erect. On cloudy days and at night the buds remain closed and the stalks droop.

The fruit is an egg-shaped capsule with several seeds.




3 to 6


Flower Color


White or pinkish with fine pink stripes


Similar Species

  Carolina spring beauty (Claytonia caroliniana var. caroliniana) has broad egg-shaped to oblong leaves that are 3 to 8 times as long as wide. The stalk of the stem leaves is obviously distinguishable from the leaf. It is much less common in Minnesota, its range restricted to the northeast and Hennepin County.  

Moderate moisture. Woods. Dappled sunlight.




April to June


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  


Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  


Montiaceae (pussypaw)  
  Genus Claytonia (spring beauties)  
  Section Claytonia  
  Species Claytonia virginica (Virginia spring beauty)  

Subordinate Taxa






Claytonia media

Claytonia robusta


Common Names


narrowleaf spring beauty

narrow-leaved spring beauty

spring beauty


Virginia spring beauty

Virginia springbeauty

Virginia spring-beauty













A short, solid, vertical, thickened, underground stem that serves as a storage organ.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.


Spring ephemeral

Early blooming, short-lived wildflower that emerges in early spring and disappears by early summer. They develop above-ground parts in March or April, quickly flower and go to seed, then die back to their underground parts by May or June.

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Nancy Falkum

    Virginia spring beauty      


    Virginia spring beauty   Virginia spring beauty  


    Virginia spring beauty   Virginia spring beauty  


    Virginia spring beauty      



Claytonia virginica
Butler Herbarium
  Claytonia virginica  



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Other Videos
  Early Spring Signs Of Plant Life - Foraging Edible Spring Beauty

Published on Apr 5, 20131

Foraging for wild edible and medicinal plants of late winter and early spring. Plants harvested were spring beauty, garlic mustard, basswood buds and mullein.

This was a harsh late winter with lots of ice and snow, and many of the plants that normally survive through the winter months didn't fair so well.

It's getting toward the end of the season for harvesting most wild root crops, pretty soon they will be springing up from the ground, the roots will get pithy and no longer be palatable.

If you'd like to find more up to date information on foraging wild plants and mushrooms, what is in season right now, and information on the best field guides and identification books I use visit my Facebook page.

Thanks for watching, subscribing, and supporting this channel. If you like this video please give a thumbs up and share it with others. If you have any questions or tips please leave a comment.

  Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Published on Mar 23, 2012

Spring Beauty in Bloom. It is an early wildflower (Claytonia virginica)

  Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Uploaded on Apr 12, 2011 A delicate Spring Beauty flower.




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  Nancy Falkum

Location: Whitewater WMA, Main Branch Unit

Virginia spring beauty  




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