[Miner's Lettuce and Spring Beauties: The Genus Claytonia West of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty

Claytonia sibirica

Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica

Flower of Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

Note the striping on the petals as well as the notches at their tips.

Characteristics:

The candy flower is an annual or short lived perennial.

The 5 petals are peppermint-striped. The coloration is white with pink stripes, and individual petals range from 6-12 mm long. 3-5 stamens are present. The inflorescence is a raceme.

The 2 stem leaves are elliptical-shaped, thick and fleshy, ranging from 1-5 cm wide and up to 7 cm long. They appear opposite one another on the soft , fleshy stem. The lower, basal leaves have long, thin petioles (2-3 time longer than the blades) and lanceolate, elliptic, or rhombic-ovate blades from 1-4 cm wide and as long or longer. The blades may also be narrowly lanceolate and 3-10 mm wide.

Candy flower has numerous erect to decumbent stems arising 10-35 cm high.

The candy Flower wilts quickly after picking.


Habitat:

Candy flower may be found in the moist rich soils of open to shady woods from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Candy flower may be found over much of western North America. It may be found from Alaska south to southern California and east to Montana and Utah.


Uses:

1. Candy flower may be used as a lettuce or spinach substitute in salads. The leaves, stems, and flowers may all be eaten. All parts are high in vitamins A & C.

2. The juices may be rubbed into the hair with one's hands for use as a styling gel.

3. Early miners reportedly let ants walk over the leaves to help give it a tangy, vinegar-like flavor.


Flower of Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica) - Flower and paired stem leaves of Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

Siberian miner's lettuce with bright flowers as seen along the trails through Nob Hill Park in St. Helens, OR........April 3, 2016.

Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica) - Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

Note the paired upper stem leaves.

Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica) - Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica) - Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

Siberian spring beauty with dark foliage and stems blooming along the Cape Arago Trail at Shore Acres State Park.........April 19, 2016.


Basal rosette of leaves of Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica) - Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

The basal rosette of leaves of candy flower as seen at left along the Newton Road-Wildwood Trail-Fire Road 12 loop in Forest Park, northwestern Portland, Oregon...........January 6, 2013. The photo at right shows an early blooming siberian spring-beauty in a trough (where it had self seeded) in the webmaster's garden, Gresham, OR......March 30, 2019.

Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)


Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonym: Montia sibirica)

A close-up of the paired sepals of candy flower as seen in Gresham, OR............May 5, 2009.

Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonym: Montia sibirica) - Candy Flower, Siberian Springbeauty: Claytonia sibirica (Synonyms: Claytonia heterophylla, Claytonia sibirica var. bulbifera, Claytonia sibirica ssp. sibirica, Montia heterophylla, Montia sibirica, Montia sibirica var. bulbifera, Montia sibirica var. heterophylla, Montia sibirica var. sibirica)

Another close-up (left) of the candy-striped petals of candy flower as seen in Gresham, OR............May 5, 2009. The photo at right shows a close-up of a flower observed in Gresham, OR.........February 24, 2016.

Paul Slichter