Claytonia umbellata

Submitted by Weiser on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:29

Rarely encountered in it's high elevation habitats is Claytonia umbellata, The Great Basin Spring beauty. This tiny Clatonia is found on semi-stable talus ruble in from southern OR into northern CA and NV. The plants sprout from small tubers 1-2" across (3-5cm) found nesting on the soil only inches from the surface. After threading their way up through the course stone, the elliptic succulent leaf blades lie flat against the chunks of talus measuring about 1-1.5 inches across(3-4cm). Their color can be reddish through green making them hard to spot against the red/brown shades of the local basalt stones. The flowering season starts very early just as snow recedes. The flowers measure 1/3-1/2 inch across usually white with pink highlights some in light pinks.

It's a challenge to reach them most spring seasons.

Habitat shot on Peavine Mountain, Washoe County, Nevada. The claytonia grows in the veins of exposed basalt talus at 8,200' on the summit of this desert mountain.

Claytonia umbellata


Submitted by Hoy on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 14:30

It is remarkable where you can find plants growing! The Claytonia (sibirica) that grows here is rather coarse compared with this little sweetie ;)

Submitted by Weiser on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:50

It was fun to see it in bloom. We don't often get to see it in flower.