Claytonia parviflora

Streambank springbeauty


The Basics

Taxonomy: Kingdom - Plantae (plants). Subkingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants). Superdivision - Spermatophyta (seed plants). Division - Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants). Class - Magnoliopsida. Order - Caryophyllales. Family - Portulacaceae (Purslane). Genus -Claytonia L. Species - Claytonia parviflora Douglas ex Hook.

Ecology: Moist to mesic vernal pools, rock outcrops, meadows and forests in the lowland and montane zones, undisturbed soils; infrequent in Southern B.C. through California, east to Idaho, Utah and Arizona.


Plants: annual, with minute, tuberous bodies; periderm absent. Stems: ascending to erect, simple, several, 3-35 cm tall. Leaves: blades green or pink, not glaucous; basal leaves petiolate, blade linear (sometimes filiform), narrowly lanceolate, spatulate, or rhombic, 1-15 0.5-1 cm; cauline leaves sessile, blade linear and 0.5-4 cm, or perfoliate and 10 cm or less diam. Fruits: Capsules; seeds 3, round to egg-shaped, black, shiny, smooth (at 20x magnification), the appendages white, fleshy, 1-2.3 mm long. Flowers: 2-12 mm diam.; sepals 1.5-4 mm; petals white or pink, 2-8 mm; ovules 3.


Wildlife: Moths and butterflies are supported by Claytonia parviflora. The most likely species to use Claytonia parviflora are Annaphila arvalis and Annaphila diva. 

 Fact: Claytonia parviflora was formerly placed in the C. perfoliate complex until recent studies proved it was different. Miller and Chambers indicated that Claytonia parviflora should be treated as a separate species. Thus allowing it to be in its own separate species.


Claytonia parviflora booms from Febuary through May. During that time the pollen will be released 1 to 2 days before the stigmas are receptive. The seeds produced are 1 to 2.5 mm in diameter with a shiny smooth low tubercles. They are not pebbly and have elaiosome at 1 to 3 mm.

Species Distribution


E-Flora of British Columbia
In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2015. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 03/02/2017 10:07:32 AM ]

USDA Plants Database
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Distribution Map photo credit

The Calflora Database
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals, including the Consortium of California Herbaria. [web application]. 2017. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization].

Flora of North America
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Burke Museum. 2017. CLaytonia parviflora [Online]. University of Washington.
Photo credit: 2004, Ben Legler

Calscape. (n.d.). Streambank Springbeauty. Retrieved from California Native Plant Society:

Nomenclatural Changes and New Taxa in Claytonia (Portulaceacea) in Western North America
Miller, J. M., & Chambers, K. L. (1993). Nomenclatural changes and new taxa in Claytonia (Portulacaceae) in western North America. Novon, 268-273.