Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Miner's Lettuce (Montiaceae) Family.
Duration: Perennial. Nativity: Native. Lifeform: Forb/Herb. General: Spreading to erect annual with minute, tuberous bodies, stems 5-50 cm. Leaves: Basal leaves in suberect to erect, seldom flattened rosettes, petiolate, 1-30 cm long, blade often with weak red pigmentation, broadly rhombic to deltate or reniform 1-7 cm long, apex obtuse to apiculate with a mucro 1-3 mm long, blade perfoliate or cleft and notched, 10 cm diameter or less. Flowers: Inflorescence stalked or sessile, open or densely with 5-40 flowers, 1-bracteate, bract leaflike, 0.5-15 mm; flowers 3-10 mm; sepals 1.5-4 mm; petals pink or white, 2-5 mm, 3 ovules. Fruits: Capsule 1.5-4 mm long, 3 valved. Ecology: Found in moist, often shady or disturbed sites from 2,500-7,500 ft ( 762-2286 m); flowers February-May. Notes: Three subspecies in Arizona: subsp. intermontana, subsp. mexicana, and subsp. perfoliata. They are told apart by subsp. perfoliata having erect basal leaf rosettes, 20-50 cm, with cauline leaf pairs connate into perfoliate discs and blade margins are entire. Ssp. intermontana has broadly ovate to rhombic basal leaves, with leaves that are beet red, gray-green or purplish. Ssp. mexicana has deltate leaves with an apiculate apex, with mostly green leaf blades. Generally told apart from C. parvifolia by the more linear-ovate leaves. Ethnobotany: Used for rheumatic pains, for sore eyes, and eaten raw as greens. Etymology: Claytonia is named for John Clayton (1694-1774) an American botanist, while perfoliata refers to the stem that perforates the leaf, the perfoliate leaf.
Santa Catalina Mountains
Catalina State Park.
Location: Edge of wash crossing loop trail.
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