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

Claytonia lanceolata Pall. ex Pursh
western springbeauty (lanceleaf springbeauty)
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81270)

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Distribution of Claytonia lanceolata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a spherical underground corm bearing fibrous roots; stems ascending to erect, simple, single to several, 5-25 cm tall.
Basal leaves 1 or 2, elliptic to broadly oblanceolate, the blades 2-15 mm wide, up to 15 cm long including the threadlike underground stalk; stem leaves paired, opposite, free, usually unstalked, narrowly lanceolate to egg-shaped, 1.5-6 cm long, 5-20 mm wide, smooth.
Inflorescence of loose racemes with 3-20 flowers on stalks 1-5 cm long, with one bract subtending the lowest flower; petals 5, white or pinkish or pink-veined, 5-12 mm long, joined at the base for 1-2 mm; sepals 2, 3-7 mm long.
Capsules, egg-shaped, 4 mm long; seeds 3-6, round, black, shiny, 2-2.5 mm long.
Plants with stalked stem leaves from Vancouver Island and NW WA have been recognized as var. pacifica. Since plants with stalked stem leaves occur in populations of the species elsewhere in BC and WA this form does not appear significant. The yellow-flowered form (var. chrysantha), found just to the south of the BC border in NW WA was also shown to be synonymous with this species (Douglas and Taylor 1972).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, shrublands, grasslands and snowbed sites from the steppe to alpine zones; common in S BC (rare on Vancouver Island); E to SK and S to NM and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Claytonia lanceolata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 29 1945 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 120
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 207 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(63), BAFA(3), BG(5), CWH(1), ESSF(195), ICH(3), IDF(16), IMA(24), MH(2), MS(3), PP(3)


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 lanceolata var. chrysantha (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.
Claytonia lanceolata var. flava (A. Nelson) C.L. Hitchc.
Claytonia lanceolata var. lanceolata Pall. ex Pursh
Claytonia lanceolata var. pacifica McNeill
Claytonia lanceolata var. rosea (Rydb.) R.J. Davis

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References