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Before consuming wild plants, contact your doctor to make sure it is safe, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore’s books contain an excellent glossary of medical terms, as well as maps. )
 
#20
 
Common Name: Indian Lettuce, Miner’s Lettuce
Latin Name: Claytonia caroliniana, C. lanceolata, C. Perfoliata, C. sibirica, C. tuberosa, C. umbellata, C. virginica
Family: Portulacaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLCA west of the Mississippi plus Arkansas and Minnesota but excluding Illinois, Mississippi, S. Carolina, Florida, Delaware, New Jersey. (C. caroliniana)  
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLLA2 Rocky Mountain states and west excluding Arizona (C. lanceolata) 
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLPE all states west of the Rocky Mountains (minus New Mexico) plus South Dakota, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Alaska. (C. perfoliata)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLSI2 Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California (C. sibirica)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLUM Oregon, Nevada, California, Wyoming  (C. umbellata)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLVI3 Texas, Okalahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota to the east coast excluding Maine, New Hampshire, and Florida
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
# 20 (a)
Common Name: Broad Leaved Spring Beauty (C. caroliniana)
Appearance and Habitat: A pair of smooth leaves occurs halfway up the slender, 4-12 in. stem. Leaves much wider than C. virginica. Several pink or white flowers with darker pink veins are borne in a loose cluster in the upper part of the stem. Plant disappears from above ground shortly after the seed capsules have ripened. (1)  Rich open woods, alluvial thickets and upland slopes.   Wetlands and riparian hardwood forests from sea level to 1400 meters in Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan, south to North Carolina, Ohio, and Missouri.  A perennial  growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in).  It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in May. (2)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked like potatoes. Rich in starch, it has a pleasant nutty flavour. Leaves and stems – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, they are best mixed with stronger tasting leaves. (3)
Medicinal Uses: None (4)
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# 20 (b)
Common Name: Lanceleaf Spring Beauty, Indian Potatoe (C. lanceolata)
Appearance and Habitat: This springbeauty has from one to a few strap-shaped, basal, fleshy leaves. The short flower stalk bears a pair of stem leaves and short clusters of five-petaled flowers. Plant size is dependent on size of the corm and local conditions. Size ranges from 2-10 in. tall. A small, slender, delicate plant with a pair of succulent leaves at midstem and a loose raceme of white, pink, or rose, bowl-shaped flowers. Flowers are usually white to pink, but can be pale yellow or orange.  As the name suggests, Western springbeauty blooms in the spring, barely waiting for the snow to melt. This perennial grows from a deeply buried, spherical, underground stem; when cooked, the stem tastes like a potato. (1) Rich soils that are moist in spring from the foothills to alpine slopes.  Sagebrush and montane foothills to alpine areas, particularly where snow persists, 500 – 3000 meters.  Western N. America southwards from British Columbia.  A perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).  It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in May. (2)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. Rather palatable. The raw root has a pleasant radish-like taste, when baked it has the taste and texture of baked potato. The roots can be dried, ground into a powder and stored for later use. The globose tubers are up to 20mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. (3)
Foot Notes: (1)
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CLLA2
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# 20(c)
Common Name: Miner’s lettuce (C. perfoliata)
Appearance and Habitat: A succulent plant with slender stems seeming to grow through middle of 1 circular leaf and topped by a raceme of tiny white flowers. Flowers are 1/8-1/4 (3-6 mm) wide; sepals 2; petals 5, from slightly longer to nearly twice as long as sepals.  The circular stem leaf is actually two, paired side by side and grown together. Sometimes they are not grown together at all, or grown together on only one side. As the common names indicate, the leaves are edible. (1)
Edible Uses: Flowers, Leaves, and Roots. Leaves – raw or cooked.  It is nice in a salad,  young leaves are best, older leaves are bitter.  Leaves are small, but are produced in an abundance.  Stalks and flowers can be added to the salad.  The bulb, roasted and peeled had the flavor of chestnuts.  It is rich in vitamin C. (3)
Medical Uses: The leaves are a gentle laxative.  The plant also makes a good spring tonic and is an effective diuretic.  The plant is helpful when  crushed and used as a poulice for rheumatic joints. (4)
Foot Notes: (1) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 23, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4 ) Plants For A Future
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#20 (d)
Common Name: Pink Purslane (C. sibirica) 
Appearance and Habitat: Siberian Miner’s Lettuce is a member of the purslane family (family Portulacaceae). Purlsanes are herbs, often succulent, with delicate flowers.  Flowers: radially symmetrical, borne single or in branched clusters; sepals usually 2, united or separate.  (1)  Damp woods, shaded streamsides etc, especially on sandy acid soils, dogwood, vine-leaf, moist shaded coniferous forests from sea level to 2000 meters.  E. Asia – Siberia Western N. America – Alaska to California. Naturalized in Britain.  It is an annual/perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).  It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. (2)
Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. They usually have a fairly bland flavour and are quite nice in a salad or cooked as a green vegetable. The leaves have a distinct earthy after-taste rather like raw beetroot. They are available all year round but can turn rather bitter in the summer, especially if the plant is growing in a hot dry position. Although on the small side, the leaves are produced in abundance and are very easily harvested. (3)
Medicinal Uses: The plant is diuretic. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied to cuts and sores. The juice of the plant has been used as eye drops for sore red eyes. A cold infusion of the stems has been used as an antidandruff wash for the hair. (4)
Foot Notes: (1)
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CLSI2
 
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#20 (e)
Common Name: Tuberous Spring Beauty (C. tuberosa)
Appearance and Habitat: Sphagnum tundra in the Arctic.  Wet to moist stony tundra slopes from sea level to 1200 meters in Alaska.  Northwestern N. America – Alaska, to E. Asia – Siberia. A perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 6in).  It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from Apr to July, and the seeds ripen in May.
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. It can be added to soups and stews. It is rather small. Leaves – raw or cooked. A source of vitamins A and C, the leaves can be used as greens. Flowers – raw.
Medicinal Uses: None
 
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#20 (f)
Common Name: Great Basin Spring Beauty (C. umbellata) 
Appearance and Habitat: Exposed slopes, 1500 to 3400 meters in California.  North and east-facing talus and scree slopes of drier mountain areas at elevations of 100 to 3000 meters.  Western N. America – California and Oregon.  A perennial  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).  It is in flower from Apr to July, and the seeds ripen in May. 
Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Roots – cooked. The globose tubers are up to 5cm in diameter. The native North Americans roasted them in sand before eating them
Medicinal Uses: None
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#20 (g)
Common Name: Spring Beauty (C. virginica)
Appearance and Habitat: A low plant with loose clusters of pink or whitish flowers, striped with dark pink. A pair of smooth, grass-like leaves occurs halfway up the slender, 4-12 in. stem. Several pink or white flowers with darker pink veins are borne in a loose cluster in the upper part of the stem. Plant disappears from above ground shortly after the seed capsules have ripened but does not leave a large gap in the garden.  This most attractive spring perennial is spectacular in large patches. It grows from an underground tuber like a small potato; this has a sweet, chestnut-like flavor. Native Americans and colonists used them for food and they are still enjoyed by those interested in edible wild plants. A similar species, Carolina Springbeauty (C. caroliniana), has broader, oval to oblong leaves. It is found primarily in the moist woods of the eastern mountains and extends westward to Minnesota. (1) Rich woods, thickets and clearings.  Wetlands, seeps, moist woods, riparian hardwood forests, copses, bluffs, ravines and prairies from sea level to 1000 meters.  A perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).  It is hardy to zone 6.  It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen in May. (2)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch, it has a pleasant nutty flavour. A radish-like flavour when raw, it tastes like a cross between a potato and a chestnut when cooked. The root is rich in vitamins A and C. The globose tuber is up to 20cm in diameter. Leaves and flowering stems – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as greens. The leaves are often available in the winter. (3)
Medicinal Uses: A cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots has been given to children with convulsions. It has been said that eating the raw plants can permanently prevent conception. (4)
 
Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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