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March Flora Spotlight:
Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty
Claytonia caroliniana

Spring beauty is one of the earliest spring flowers to bloom at the Botanical Gardens. It forms a thick carpet in the under story of rich forests and moist forested slopes. This small delicate flower has a color range from white to pinkish with darker pink veins. The dark pink veins are guides for insects leading them to the nectar. Their pollinators are mostly bumblebees and butterflies. The name Claytonia caroliniana commemorates John Clayton (1686-1773), a British physician who collected the plants. A plant similar to Carolina spring beauty is the eastern spring beauty, Claytonia virginiana which can be distinguished easily by its narrower linear leaves. These beauties flower from mid-March to early May.

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