Claytonia exigua Torr. & A. Gray subsp. exigua
pale springbeauty (serpentine springbeauty)
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Liz Watkinson     (Photo ID #23977)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Claytonia exigua subsp. exigua
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect, simple, bluish-green, 1-15 cm tall.
Basal leaves numerous, linear, 2-12 cm long, 0.5-1.5 mm wide, blue-green; stem leaves paired, opposite, linear to linear-lanceolate, 0.5-4 cm long, free or fused on one side less than half their length, bluish-green.
Inflorescence of stalked to unstalked racemes 5-20 mm long with 2-7 flowers on recurved stalks, the stalks 3-10 mm long, with one bract subtending the lowest flower; petals 5, white or pale pink, 2.5-4.5 mm long; sepals 2, 1-2 mm long.
Capsules, 2-3 mm long; seeds 3, elliptic, dull black, 1-1.5 mm long, with small rounded swellings (at 20x magnification), the appendages brownish, fleshy or shrunken.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Moist, open vernal sites in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent on SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent coast, also known from Hazelton; S to CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Claytonia spathulata
Claytonia spathulata var. exigua (Torr. & A. Gray) Hook. & Arn.
Claytonia spathulata var. rosulata (Eastw.) McNeill
Claytonia spathulata var. spathulata
Claytonia spathulata var. tenuifolia Torr. & A. Gray
Montia spathulata
Montia spathulata var. exigua (Torr. & A. Gray) B.L. Rob.
Montia spathulata var. rosulata (Eastw.) J.T. Howell
Montia spathulata var. spathulata
Montia spathulata var. tenuifolia (Torr. & A. Gray) Munz