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Miner's Lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed at Saddle Mountain, Tonopah, Arizona, March 2003.
Also visible in this picture are some stems of Galium sp. also known as bedstraw with six whorled leaves at each node.

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 to 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.

Portulacaceae -- Purslane Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008