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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.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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