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This attractive wildflower is a sure sign that spring has arrived and that the local woodlands are full of wildflowers. When Spring Beauty and these other wildflowers are conspicuously absent from a woodlands, this indicates that it has been subjected to severe degradation from plows or bulldozers at some point in the past. In Illinois, Spring Beauty is a unique member of the Purslane family that is easy to distinguish from other wildflowers. Look for pink-stripes, whether pale or bright, on the petals of the flowers, and only 2 sepals underneath. In southeastern and other parts of the United States, there is a closely related wildflower, Claytonia carolina (Carolina Beauty). This latter species has a similar appearance to Spring Beauty, but it doesn't occur in Illinois. The leaves of Carolina Beauty are usually broader than those of Spring Beauty.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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