Posted by SongofJoy
(Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 17, 2012 2:18 PM concerning plant:
Spring Beauty is a common wildflower in rich woods throughout eastern North America. It blankets acres and acres of good, damp woods in Eastern KY, among other places. It even becomes established in average-to-damp sunny lawns. The small, white, 5-petaled, pink-striped flowers seem to come from nowhere in early to mid-spring as the linear leaves are easily lost among the forest leaves or lawn grasses. A single corm (root stock) may have dozens of flowers that wave cheerfully in the spring breezes. And as soon as they're here, they're gone. Spring ephemerals, they die back and go dormant soon after flowering. When happy, they will colonize large areas over time.
Posted by wildflowers
(North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Feb 16, 2013 10:13 AM concerning plant:
The name is perfect for these early spring flowers. The flowers are white with red/pink stripes and no two are exactly alike. Claytonia virginica has a single pair of opposite, narrow leaves that come out about half way up the stem and a flower cluster at the top. The flowers will stay closed on cloudy days and they close each night; the buds will droop and nod down when closed. In the morning when the buds open up after the sun comes out, the flowers stand up erect.
There is another, Carolina Spring Beauty (C. caroliniana) that is very similar, except the leaves are wider.
Posted by jmorth
(central Illinois) on Jan 23, 2012 6:29 PM concerning plant:
The perennial root system is a dark colored roundish tuber usually less than an inch long. Bundles of fibrous rootlets branch out from tuber.
The weak, watery stems start to flower at about 6"; it continues to grow maxing out at about a foot by the time seeds mature. Seed is expelled from capsule w/ enough force to land several inches from mother plant.
The small delicate flowers turn to face the sun. Flowers close up at night and when overcast.
Indians and pioneers dug the starchy tubers for food, a potato substitute either boiled or raw. Reportedly of a bland taste resembling chestnuts.Leaves added to salads or used as greens.
Wildlife dig tubers for food, especially rodents, but also the grizzley bear. Moose, elk, and deer browse on the above ground greens in early spring.