Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Miner’s LettuceAll Claytonia species are somewhat fleshy plants only a few centimeters tall, with showy flowers about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) across.  Known as Miner’s Lettuce, Winter Purslane, or Indian Lettuce, is usually bright green (but sometimes purplish or brownish green), long and narrow.  Miner’s Lettuce has a few leaves formed at the base of the plant with a long stem, terminating in a pair of leaves that are grown together and appear as a single circular leaf.  Grouped up the pair of leaves are 5-40 small pink or white flowers, each with five petals.

Distinctive Miner’s Lettuce circular leafWhere to Find: Some species are found in rich forests, where they are conspicuous before the leaves develop. Western species are found throughout most of the northern United States and in Canada.  It prefers cool, damp conditions.

Edible Parts: It can be eaten as a leaf vegetable and is most commonly eaten raw in salads.  It can be boiled like spinach (and tastes like spinach).  It is high in vitamin C.

Miner’s Lettuce leaves and flowers

Close-up of Miner’s Lettuce leaf and flowers

Miner’s Lettuce in the wild

Miner’s Lettuce in the wild

Miner’s Lettuce flower

Miner’s Lettuce showing leaf base, stem, and circular leaf

Miner's Lettuce

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