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Plant Profile: Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

When I read the Wind in the Willow to my granddaughter I envision the woodland where the animals wander filled with these delicate flowers. The white to pale pink flowers are striped with pink veins and the stamens are tipped with pink anthers. They are borne in clusters on slender stems and open their faces to the sky when the weather is warm and sunny. The dark green grass-like leaves double their size to 12” after the flowers have faded and then completely disappear by the beginning of summer. Spring Beauty naturalizes well and lends charm a meadow, lawn, woodland, or rock garden.

Type: Herbaceous perennial (spring ephemeral);

Bloom: White to pink star-like flowers, ¾” wide, appear in spring.
Size: 4-6” H x 4” W

Light: Full sun to part shade; prefers dappled shade.

Soil: Prefers organically rich, moist, fertile soils but will tolerate average soil fertility.

Fertilizer: Add organic matter when planting.

Hardiness: Zones 3-7.

Care: Low maintenance.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance.

Propagation: Small, potato-like corms offsets in fall; corms should be planted 3” deep and 3” apart. Reseeds itself and naturalizes easily.

Companion plants: Wild ginger (Asarum canadense), Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense), Trout lily (Erythronium americanum).

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