Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Claytonia parviflora, Streambank Springbeauty

Claytonia parviflora, Streambank SpringbeautyClaytonia parviflora, Streambank SpringbeautyClaytonia parviflora, Streambank SpringbeautyClaytonia parviflora, Streambank Springbeauty

Scientific Name: Claytonia parviflora
Common Name: Streambank Springbeauty
Also Called: Indian-lettuce, Littleleaf Springbeauty
Family: Portulacaceae, Purslane Family
The genus Claytonia is moving to the [1] Montiaceae Family.
Synonyms: (Claytonia parviflora var. hydrophila, Claytonia parviflora var. latior, Claytonia parviflora var. rupestris, Claytonia parviflora var. sparsiflora, Montia parviflora var. hydrophila)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual.
Size: Up to 11 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems minute tuberous bodies; erect or spreading.
Leaves: Green or pink variegated; not glaucous, basal leaves with long petioles basal leaves variable from perfoliate, linear, lanceolate, spathulate or square (rhombic); cauline leaves sessile, blades linear or perfoliate.
Flower Color: White or pinkish; 30 to 40 flowers small up to ¼ inch; (inflorescence) sessile or stalked, 1 leaf-like bracteate ¾ of an inch; petals about twice as large as the sepals; fruit a capsule, seeds shiny smooth.

Flowering Season: subsp. "grandiflora"; March to May;
Flowering Season: subsp. "parviflora"; April to July;
Flowering Season: subsp. "utahensis"; March to June;
Flowering Season: subsp. "viridis" ;February to April

Elevation: 2,500 to 7,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Moist (vernally) areas, along brooks and around springs; disturbed ares in sun or shade.

Recorded Range: Streambank Springbeauty is found in the far western United States and far western Canada. In Arizona they have a marginal distribution with limited populations. The plants in the photographs above were taken near Sycamore Creek 1 ½ miles north of the USFS Administrative Site, Maricopa County, Arizona. Claytonia parviflora is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Claytonia parviflora.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Claytonia parviflora has the following wetland designations: Alaska, FACU; Arid West, FACU; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands.

Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America the genus Claytonia is found throughout all of North America from the southern Mexican border north well into the Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada. The USDA classification contains 28 Species and 59 accepted taxa overall within the Portulcaceae Family. The Plant List includes 29 accepted species names for Claytonia within the Montiaceae Family.

In Arizona there are 4 species in Claytonia, in California there are 14 species, New Mexico has 3 species, Texas has 1 species, Nevada and Utah each have 7 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 4 sub-species in Claytonia parviflora.
Claytonia parviflora subsp. grandiflora, Streambank Springbeauty (CA);
Claytonia parviflora subsp. parviflora, Streambank Springbeauty (AZ, CA, ID, MO, NV, OR, WA, BC-Can.);
Claytonia parviflora subsp. utahensis, Streambank Springbeauty (AZ, CA, NV, UT);
Claytonia parviflora subsp. viridis, Streambank Springbeauty (CA, NV).

The genus Claytonia has been moved to the [1] Montiaceae Family.

Comments: Streambank Springbeauty, one of the several species belonging to the genus Claytonia referred to locally as "Minors Lettuce". As the name suggests or reveals these plants were in fact eaten by early California minors and likely others in need of late winter or early spring salad plants or nourishing greens. The INTERNET is loaded with many interesting sites relating to recipes for Minors Lettuce.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Minor's Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata.

Streambank Springbeauty has been used as a sauce and relish and as a toy for games by North American indigenous peoples.
Karok Other, Toys & Games
, Shoot used to play a game
Montana Indian Food, Sauce & Relish, Eaten raw as a relish.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

[1] (The family Montiaceae was newly adopted in the APG III system and includes members of the Caryophyllales formerly listed in Portulacaceae.)

Date Profile Completed: 06/14/2016, updated format 10/01/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Claytonia perfoliata var. parviflora.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 06/13/2016)
John M. Miller & John G. Packer, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 Page 459, 461, 462 | Portulacaceae | Claytonia 14. Claytonia parviflora Douglas ex Hooker, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 225, plate 73. 1832. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 06/13/2016).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 06/13/2016).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 06/13/2016),6336,6346
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/13/2016).