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Alaska Wildflowers | Pink

Spring beauty flower in Alaska

Spring Beauty

Claytonia sarmentosa (C.A. Mey.) B.L. Rob

Alt. Names:
Montia sarmentosa
Alaska springbeauty

Genus: Claytonia (springbeauty)
Family: Montiaceae
Order: Caryophyllales

Duration: Perennial

Uses: Entire plant is edible and makes a good salad addition. The bulbous root is high in starch and often cooked.

Identification – Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty is a small plant with stems (runners) 1-20 cm (0.5-7 in) in length and delicate magenta or white flower 15-20 mm in diameter. The flower has 5 petals that can be white or magenta, often wth darker magenta veins and yellow at the base. The stamen are also often magenta. The leaves are basal, elliptic, and green to yellow.

Similar Species

According to Kewscience there are currently 32 accepted species of the genus Claytonia L., six of which are native to Alaska (as of 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Claytonia sarmentosa lives in wet tundra, or moist alpine soil and meadows where there is lots of sun or only partial shade. It is native to Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia and parts of Siberia. It is not found in Southeast Alaska, but the similar species Claytonia sibirica with smaller flowers is.

References

Claytonia L., Kewscience: Plants of the World online
Claytonia sarmentosa C. A. Meyer, Nouv. Mém. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou. 1: 137. 1829., Flora of North America – www.eFloras.org
Claytonia sarmentosa  C.A. Mey., ITIS Database
Claytonia sarmentosa C.A. Mey. Alaska springbeauty, USDA Database

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