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

Claytonia washingtoniana (Suksd.) Suksd.
Washington springbeauty
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19915)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Claytonia washingtoniana
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Washington spring beauty is an annual, rhizomatous species that is found in North America in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California (USDA 2011). In British Columbia, it is found in the southwestern corner of the province where it occurs on moist to mesic mossy rock outcrops and forests in the lowland and montane zones (from approx. 600 m to 1000 m).

In his rare plants of the Fraser Valley article, Lomer (2011) says: "A species derived from hybridization of two common species: Claytonia perfoliata Donn ex Willd. and C. sibirica L. It grows on mossy rock outcrops on the north side of the Fraser from Horseshoe Bay east to Pitt Meadows (UBC: Lomer 3949), and perhaps can be found in similar sites east of the Pitt River. It is early flowering, from March to May, and typically grows on low diversity mossy sites that dry out completely by the end of spring." Extracted from Botanical Electronic News #432, January 2011, with permission.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual herb from a slender taproot or short rhizome; stems spreading to erect, few to several from the root crown, 5-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves numerous, the blades egg-shaped to deltoid, 1-5 cm long, tapering to a 2-35 cm stalk; stem leaves paired, free or sometimes fused below on one side, more or less round to egg-shaped, unstalked, 1-4 cm long.
Inflorescence of terminal and axillary racemes with 5-25 flowers on stalks 1-5 cm long, nodding in bud but spreading in flower, with bracts 1 per 2-4 flowers; petals white or pink (fading to white), 4-5 mm long; sepals 2.5-4 mm long.
Capsules, 2.5-3.5 mm long; seeds 1, elliptic, black, shiny or dull, 1.5-2 mm long.
This species is considered to be of hybrid origin between C. sibirica and C. perfoliata.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic mossy rock outcrops and forests in the lowland and montane zones; rare in SW BC; S to CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Claytonia washingtoniana

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) 250 644 1038
Slope Gradient (%) 13 51 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
130 182 236
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 3
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: IDF(2)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References