The two native species of Claytonia only rarely grow side by side in the same forests in Michigan. When they do, C. virginica reaches the peak of its flowering later by at most a few days than C. caroliniana. The vegetative parts of both turn yellowish after a short flowering and fruiting season in the spring, and soon the plants are no longer seen above ground in forests which may have been carpeted with them a month previously. Both native species are extremely variable in leaf shape and size as well as in other characters, such as the aberrant presence of extra leaves on the stem. The petals are usually pale pink with deeper colored veins, but the ground color ranges from white to very deep pink; the corolla may be as much as 27 mm broad.
1. Plant tap rooted; inflorescence with many bracts; rare escape from cultivation.
1. Plant with a spherical tuberous root; inflorescence with a single bract (rarely 2); common native forest understory species.
2. Cauline leaves less than 8 (usually 2.5–6.5) times as long as broad, including typically a ± diamond-shaped blade and a distinct petiole.
2. Cauline leaves more than 8 times as long as broad, linear, without a distinct petiole.
All species found in Claytonia
MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. December 12, 2017. http://www.michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Claytonia.