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

Claytonia perfoliata Donn ex Willd.
Montiaceae (Purslane family)
(Previously in Portulacaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© RĂ©al Sarrazin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26683)

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Distribution of Claytonia perfoliata
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems ascending to erect, simple, several, 1-35 cm tall.
Basal leaves few to many, spreading to erect, more or less equal in size, elliptic to round-deltate, the blades 0.5-4 cm long, tapered abruptly to the stalk, the stalks up to 20 cm long; stem leaves paired, opposite, fused on both margins, forming a disk less than 5 cm wide.
Inflorescence of whorled racemes with 5-40 flowers on stalks 1-10 cm long or unstalked, with one bract subtending the lowest flower; petals 5, white or pinkish, 2-6 mm long; sepals 2, 1.5-5 mm long.
Capsules; seeds 3, round to egg-shaped, black, shiny, smooth (at 20x magnification), the appendages white, fleshy, 1-2.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist, sandy vernal sites, meadows, thickets and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in SW and SE BC, infrequent in SC BC; S to SD, MT, UT, AZ and MX, also known from AK.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Claytonia perfoliata

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) 20 512 1824
Slope Gradient (%) 0 35 119
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
2 182 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
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: BG(2), CDF(45), CWH(11), ESSF(4), ICH(13), IDF(28), PP(17), SBS(1)


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

Additional Photo Sources

General References