Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Native Species Profile - Carolina Spring Beauty

Usually around this time of year I can find several species of wildflowers blooming in local woods including Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

There is another plant in the Claytonia genus that can be found throughout Michigan - Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana).  The Carolina Spring Beauty is very similar in appearance to the Spring Beauty.  Both plants have five white to pink petals with purple nectar guides.  Both plants can grow up to 6-12 inches tall, but are usually shorter.  Both plants grow throughout the eastern United States and Canada.

The main difference in the plants is the shape of the leaves.  The Spring Beauty has narrow grass-like leaves; the Carolina Spring Beauty has wider oval shaped leaves.  Another difference is in their bloom times.  The Spring Beauty begins blooming up to a month before the Carolina Spring beauty - late-March versus late-April.  Both plants will continue blooming into mid-June.

Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana)

Basic Information

Carolina Spring Beauty
Claytonia caroliniana

Height:  6-12” tall

Habitat:  woodlands, uplands

Flower Color:  white or pink, with pink veins

Bloom Time:  late April – mid June

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