Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica
Portulacaceae or Purslane Family

Flowers and buds

Low plant with long, narrow, untoothed leaves, and a cluster of 5-petaled flowers.  Flowers may be white, pink, or candy-striped.  Anthers are pink.  One of the earliest blooming natives in the Park, appearing in March. Fruits are little nutlets that develop inside cups formed by the sepals.

Very common along the trail on the western slope of the park.

Flower closeup
Flowers and leaves

The lovely flowers and narrow leaves appearing in early spring are distinctive and unlikely to be confused with anything else in the Park.  Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) is similar, but is found further north and in the mountains, and is unlikely to be found in the Park.

More Information:
Species of the Week
RU Student Article
Environmental Effects on the Closure of Spring Beauty Flowers  (RU student Biology Research)

White flowrs and leaves
  Developing fruits  

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