Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Claytonia megarhiza
alpine springbeauty

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in the Wenatchee Mountains of Washington; in scattered locations from Northwest Territories to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Gravelly soil and talus slopes, mid- to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from a fleshy, elongated, simple or forked taproot up to 2 cm. thick, the crown simple or branched, the flowering stems several to many.


Basal leaves numerous, fleshy, forming rosettes, the blade obovate-oblanceolate, 5-25 mm. wide, narrowed to a petiole 1- to 3-times as long as the blade; cauline leaves 2, opposite, reduced, linear.


Inflorescence a flat-topped raceme with 2-9 bracteate flowers; pedicels 5-40 mm. long; sepals 2, green or reddish, obtuse or acute, persistent, 4-9 mm. long; petals 5, white to rose or deep pink, 7-15 mm. long; stamens 5, attached to the base of the petals; style 1, with 3 short stigmas.


Capsule ovoid, 4-5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Claytonia megarhiza (A. Gray) Parry ex S. Watson
Publication: Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 258: 118. (as megarrhiza). 1878.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Claytonia arctica Adams var. megarhiza A. Gray
Claytonia megarhiza (A. Gray) Parry ex S. Watson var. bellidifolia (Rydb.) C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
Claytonia megarhiza (A. Gray) Parry ex S. Watson var. megarhiza [HC]
Claytonia megarhiza (A. Gray) Parry ex S. Watson var. nivalis (English) C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Claytonia megarhiza in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Claytonia megarhiza checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Claytonia megarhiza information.

E-Flora BC: Claytonia megarhiza atlas page.

CalPhotos: Claytonia megarhiza photos.

USDA Plants: Claytonia megarhiza information.

36 photographs:
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