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 March Flora Spotlight:
Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty
Claytonia virginiana

Spring beauty is one of the earliest flowers to bloom at the Botanical Gardens. Its 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. Spring Beauty grows in moist to slightly dry, open woods, wooded bluffs, and fields. It prefers rich, loamy soil with abundant organic matter in dappled sunlight. This is one of the easiest wildflowers to propagate, and once established, it takes care of itself.

This most attractive spring perennial is spectacular in large patches. It grows from an underground tuber like a small potato that has a sweet, chestnut-like flavor. Native Americans and colonists used them for food and they are still enjoyed by those interested in edible wild plants. A similar species, Carolina Spring beauty (Claytonia caroliniana), has broader, oval to oblong spoon like leaves. 

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