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Common Name: Great Basin Spring Beauty
Claytonia umbellata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Western N. America - California and Oregon.
Exposed slopes, 1500 - 3400 metres in California[
]. North- and east-facing talus and scree slopes of drier mountain areas, subalpine coniferous forests at elevations of 100 - 3000 metres[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers a damp peaty soil and a position in full sun[
]. Requires a lime-free soil[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
Flowers - raw[
Roots - cooked[
]. The globose tubers are up to 5cm in diameter[
]. The native North Americans roasted them in sand before eating them[
Seed - surface sow on a peat based compost in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 4 weeks at 10°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts.
Division of offsets in spring or autumn.