Spring Beauty, Miner's Lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Claytonia (klay-TOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: perfoliata (per-foh-lee-AY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Montia perfoliata
Synonym:Limnia perfoliata


Alpines and Rock Gardens



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Folsom, California

Marina, California

Merced, California

Oak View, California

Redwood City, California

San Francisco, California

San Pedro, California

Santa Cruz, California

Moscow, Idaho

Salem, Oregon

Clarksville, Tennessee

Dayton, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 2, 2009, hmbgerl from Folsom, CA wrote:

We thought it was a weed and starting yanking 'em out of the ground. Our neighbor theorized that it was edible so we did the research. This "weed" was miner's lettuce. We harvested it with a pair of scissors and added it (washed) to our salads...flower and all! As the weather warmed up the lettuce in the yard began to wilt & brown. We hope we get some next winter/spring.


On Apr 25, 2005, CApoppy from Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This lovely little plant springs up everywhere in the early spring. Native Americans in this area were said to have especially favored it when it grew near an ant hill. The hint of formic acid left on the leaves by ants was an ancient version of vinaigrette! Yesterday a covey of six quail had quite a feast on the seeds of the miner's lettuce growing in the cracks of our flagstone patio. When the rains stop it will be gone until next year.


On Oct 22, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Absolutely our favorite salad additive


On Dec 31, 2003, Flit from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a native edible that I learned to identify when I was young. It makes a wonderful salad, like a cross between butter lettuce and spinach. I've never tried cooking it since it's great fresh.

I acquired mine in 2000 from a friend who was rooting it out of his yard up in the redwood-forested hills. Since it grows well under redwoods I theorized that it might be able to survive on the blighted area under the black walnut tree, and I was correct.

It dies back every winter and returns anew the next year. I've been assuming it was self-seeding. The flowers produce a quantity of small black seeds.


On Nov 11, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is good to eat, both tops and bottom. The tops are good raw as a lettuce substitute or salad ingredient, while the roots are used like a water chestnut (although small and lots of work to peel and boil.) Miner's Lettuce grows mostly in the western US. I have found it growing naturally on moist spots or drainages on dry sandy slopes and beside roads in the borrow pits, mainly in damp places. Its common name refers to its use by miners to prevent scurvy; when no fruit was available, this plant is a source of Vitamin C.