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General Description

Uses

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Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Parkway - Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty along the Blue Ridge Parkway

General Description

The Spring Beauty, also known as the Claytonia Caroliniana, is native to eastern North America. Ranging from as far north as upper Canada down to North Carolina and as far east at Missouri. This flower likes rich, open woods, thickets and slopes found in higher elevations although the Spring Beauty can also be found as low as sea level in hardwood forests.

This plant can grow up to 4 inches tall and is a perennial. It begins as a flower in March but the seeds don't ripen until May. These plants are hermaphroditic meaning that they contain both male and female organs. They prefer sandy and or loamy soils that are well drained and stay moist. The spring beauty prefers abundant sunlight and will not grow well in shade.

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Uses

The Spring Beauty does not have any known medicinal uses. It is however edible, both the roots and leaves. The root can be eaten raw or cooked similar to potatoes. It has a bit of a nutty flavor but is high in starch. The leaves and stems can also be eaten raw or cooked. They have a mild flavor and are probably best when mixed with some stronger tasting leaves.

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