E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Liz Watkinson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23977)

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Distribution of Claytonia exigua subsp. exigua
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

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

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References