Miner's Lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata

Claytonia perfoliata photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed near Superior, Pinal Co., Arizona, March 2017.

LEAVES: Paired opposite leaves below the flower clusters are perfoliate, i.e. joined at the stem ... they encircle the stem. The remaining, lower leaves have normal petioles.

FLOWERS: Minute white flowers borne in small clusters at the center of the perfoliate leaves.

ANNUAL HERB: Succulent green leaves and stem offer a crisp veggie treat for hikers or miners. Apparent from Jan. to early April, but only in years with adequate precipitation.


RANGE: Frequent throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico on steep, north-facing hillsides where moisture is seeping from crevices.

Montiaceae -- Pussypaw Family,
(was Portulacaceae -- Purslane Family before recent taxonomic changes)

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 12 June 2003,
updated 12 Jan. 2020.