Color: White, pinkish
Common name: Miner's lettuce
Latin name: Claytonia perfoliata
Height: highly variable
Description: Tiny cluster of flowers projecting through a rounded leaf. Flower: sepals 1.5–5 mm; petals 2–6 mm.
Leaf: At or near the base 1–25 cm, disk-like, < 10 cm diam, round or squarish (or free on 1 side). The top leaves are shiny, dark green and sometimes succulent.
Range: California Floristic Province, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Habitat: Vernally moist, often shady or disturbed sites on the edges of the desert on north slopes.
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Flowering time: Highly variable
Notes: Photographed May 6, 2006 near Lake Isabella, Kern County, Calif. A dicot, is a common annual herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, C. America. Highly variable; subspp. difficult to determine because of environmental plasticity. With early miner's diets consisting of mostly beans and bacon, miner's lettuce was a welcome "green" supplement eaten raw or cooked.
We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.
Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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