Springbeauties of the genus Claytonia are annual or perennial herbs, growing from stolons, rhizomes, tubers, or a taproot. The plants are hairless and more or less fleshy. The leaves are entire. There may be few to several basal leaves in a rosette, or there may be none. The stem usually has 2 leaves, which are generally opposite, free to fully fused into a 2-toothed disk or cup which is surrounding the stem. The inflorescence consists of a raceme, which is terminal, and 1-sided. Flower stalks are reflexed, and becoming erect in fruit. The flowers have 5 petals, which are pink, white or yellow. There are 5 stamens and 1 ovary chamber. The placentas are basal, with 1 style and 3 stigmas. The fruit is a capsule with 3 valves, with the margins rolling inward and forcibly expelling the seeds. Each capsule has 3-6 seeds, which are generally black, and generally clearly appendaged. There are about 28 species in the genus worldwide, mainly from North America and eastern Asia. The name comes from John Clayton, a colonial American botanist, born 1686.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Claytonia
STEM LEAVES SEPARATED
C. lanceolata Western Springbeauty Delicate, fleshy herb, 5-20 cm tall. Moist, open sites, foothills to alpine.
Flowers white to pinkish, 10-15 mm wide, with 5 petals and 2 sepals.
Leaves basal and opposite, 1 pair on stem, egg- to lance-shaped, stalkless.