Claytonia virginica ([Virginia] Spring Beauty)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This small and delicate native ephemeral blooms early spring in rich, moist, open woodlands and meadows throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.* As tree canopies leaf out and temperatures rise, its foliage fades away and will not reappear until the next year. The Virginia Native Plant Society honored Spring Beauty as Wildflower of the Year in 1990.

*In VA, it is absent in the far southwest and on the Eastern Shore. 

Print Version (Legal Size): Claytonia virginica ([Virginia] Spring Beauty)
 Corm Height: 1⁄2–1 foot Spread: 1⁄2–3⁄4 foot Bloom Color: White with pink veins Characteristics Delicate, low-growing ephemeral perennial Narrow, dark green, grass-like foliage Showy, small, star-like, white flowers with pink veins and anthers bloom late March to May Ovoid fruit capsule containing 3–6 tiny seeds Spreads easily by multiplying corms (bulb-like stem bases) and self-seeding Attributes Dormant in summer; foliage dies to the ground and does not reappear until the next spring No serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Edible corms taste similar to chestnuts but their tiny size makes the collection effort hardly worthwhile. (Do not disturb spring beauty or other native plants in their natural habitat. Be sure to purchase nursery-propagated plants and not those that have been sourced from the wild.) Attracts pollinators with early season nectar Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist Plant corms 2–3” deep and 3-6” apart in fall Excellent Replacement for Hyacinthus species - Hyacinth Ornithogalum nutans - Nodding Star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum umbellatum - Star-of-Bethlehem Ficaria verna - Lesser Celandine Use in rock, wildflower or woodland gardens with later spreading perennials, which will cover the void left when spring beauty’s foliage dies back; naturalize in lawns as one would spring crocuses Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets