Claytonia virginica – Virginia Spring Beauty

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Virginia Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) is an edible ephemeral that likes to grow in dappled sunlight. The plant is often found near ramp patches, as both species like to grow in maple-hardwood forests.
Virginia Spring Beauty has white to pink flowers with pink stripes. The flowers open when it is warm and sunny. They will close when it is cloudy or nighttime.
The entire above ground part of the plant can be served whole and raw in a salad. Virginia Spring Beauty also has a small underground tuber that has a chestnut-like flavor when cooked. However, the tuber should only be collected when the plant is abundant, as this will kill the plant.
Virginia Spring Beauty roots have also been used medicinally as a contraceptive and as a pediatric anticonvulsant.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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