Spring Beauties in Maryland (Claytonia virginica)

Asked April 18, 2019, 6:43 PM EDT

I write freelance on a range of subjects and after walking in the woods along the Cascade Falls Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park marveled at the Spring Beauties carpeting the forest floor. I am working on an essay about the beauty of the Maryland woods and the mesmerizing profusion of Spring Beauties this time of year. I've looked online and found that they are edible--but I would be very appreciative if you could provide online-accessible resources and any personal knowledge you may have. I intend to mention that I got information through this extension service. Thank you. Richard B. Karel


2 Responses

We do not have personal research to add. The book "Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast" by Carol Gracie, is a very comprehensive and enjoyable read that we would recommend.

We would caution that you not mention in your article that spring beauties are edible, as that may tempt some to harvest them from parks or wild areas. Almost all Maryland wildflowers are rapidly becoming threatened.


Thanks Ellen. I think it may be best to mention that they are threatened and for that reason should not be dug up---and that it is prohibited to dig up plants in any state, local or national park. I think it is very unlikely that anyone who is interested in reading my essay (if, indeed, it is published) would ignore that advice. I may add something to the effect that "although considered edible, Spring Beauties, like many other Maryland wildflowers are under increasing threat."