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Narrow-Leaved Spring Beauty
Claytonia virginica

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Narrow-leaved Spring BeautyThese tiny, delicate little wildflowers are the epitome of a spring ephemeral. This species is usually found in rich hardwood forest at lower elevations, as opposed to the caroliniana. The tiny plants just barely peek out over the leaf litter in early spring, sometimes carpeting entire hillsides. Narrow leaved Spring Beauty closeupThe flowers, about 1/3 inch across, are composed of 5 petals. The petals are white-to-pink with pink vertical streaks. Each plant may have many, many blooms. In our area there are two species - virginica on the left, and caroliniana which prefers higher elevations. You can tell them apart by the leaves-caroliniana leaves are short and broad, virginica are grasslike. The caroliniana flowers are usually more white, while the virginiana flowers are usually more noticeably pink.
A note on the nomenclature (naming conventions) on this site: Scientific names and classifications are constantly being argued and changed, and it drives me nuts. Although I use many different sources for knowledge, for naming consistency  I  use the  "Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas" by Radford, Ahles and Bell, 1968 edition. This book is a well-established authority for the plants of our region and I've been using it for years. If for some reason I must use a different source for a particular plant, I will make note of it within the descriptive text. Don't like it? Tough!

Fiona Dudley
986 Reems Creek Road
Weaverville NC 28787


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