Claytonia perfoliata – Miner's Lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata - Miner's Lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata - Miner's Lettuce

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Claytonia perfoliata

Synonym: Montia perfoliata

Common Name: Miner's Lettuce

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual, Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Riparian. This plant grows in moist, shady areas along streams in the desert, uplands, and mountains. It is usually found growing in wetlands (about 67% to 99% of the time), but it is sometimes found in non-wetlands.

Flower Color: White, Pink

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 1 foot (30 cm) tall

Description: The tiny, 5-petaled flowers are in small racemes at the center of round, perfoliate leaves (stemless leaves that clasp and surround the stems). The leaves are green and fleshy. Stressed plants may have red, orange, or yellow leaves. Unlike the round, perfoliate leaves, the lower leaves are elongated in shape and have petioles.

Special Characteristics

Edible – The young leaves are edible either raw or cooked. The older leaves or the leaves from drought-stressed plants may be bitter. The flowers and flower stalks are also edible.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Portulacaceae – Purslane family
Genus: Claytonia L. – springbeauty
Species: Claytonia perfoliata Donn ex Willd. – miner's lettuce

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map