Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 8, Issue 4
   April 2013
 
   Interesting Reads
 
 
Excerpt from The Wildflowers of Canada, Algrove Publishing, 2001
 
PLATE 63.

SPRING BEAUTY. CLAYTONIA CAROLINIANA. (PURSLANE FAMILY.)
 
Perennial; stem weak, arising from a hard, rounded tuber deep in the ground; leaves opposite on long petioles, elliptical, or broadly spatulate: flowers on slender pedicels in a one-sided, terminal raceme; sepals two; petals five, much longer, pale pink; stamens five, attached to the petals.
 
"New are the buds on the oaken spray,
New the blades of the silken grass ;
Flowers that were buds but yesterday,
Peep from the ground where'er I pass."
 
-BRYANT.
  SPRING BEAUTY, CLAYTONIA CAROLINIANA
 
As the sap is flowing and leaves are unfolding, and the rich, moist woodland earth heaves and bursts with life, with the first sweet wild flowers that grace the footsteps of new-born spring, comes the claytonia. It is fitting that this, one of the fairest of our vernal flowers, should be called spring beauty. Under a sheltering bank or at the root of the protecting trees, arise the frail stems with their two fresh green leaves and the cluster of dainty blossoms. A delicate little plant it is, shivering in the slightest breath of wind. The round, nut-shaped tuber, deep in the ground, is the only hard, firm part of it. What words can describe the fairy blossoms of the spring beauty? The five petals of an ethereal pink, prettily veined with crimson-purple, are scarce earthly in their loveliness. One would fain believe they have fallen from celestial spaces.
 
     
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