The photo above shows the attractive striped flowers of western spring beauty as taken at the intersection of FS Rd 82 and the King Mt. Rd on Mt. Adams, at approximately an elevation of 3560'...............May 7, 2005.
Western spring beauty is a pretty, small, delicate perennial herb which emerges early in spring. The one to several erect stems arise from 6-20 cm high and arise from a round corm about 5-20 mm in diameter. The few basal leaves are smooth-surfaced and somewhat waxy with elliptical blades and a long petiole. The stem leaves are opposite, two per node, and oval to narrowly lanceolate. They are about 1.5-6 cm long and from 5-20 cm wide. They are sessile or very short-petiolate.
The inflorescence is a loose raceme with 3-20 flowers. On individual flowers, the 5 white petals are 7-12 mm long and fused at the base to form a short tube. Flowers each have 5 stamens and 3 styles. The petals may also be pink with deeper pink veins or yellow, depending on the variety.
Western spring beauty may be found in seasonally moist grasslands from the lowlands to moderate elevation in the mountains.
Western spring beauty may be found from southern British Columbia south on both sides of the Cascades to southern California, and eastwards to Alberta and New Mexico.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 1100'-4500' between the Wind River and the Columbia Hills.
The starchy corms taste like potatoes and may be dug and eaten before the plant flowers.