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Perennial Weeds

March 2010

QuestionThere are tiny little five-petaled, star shaped pinkish purple flowers blooming all over my yard. I would love to know what these are. I've seen them covering whole lots and lawns and they are really pretty. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.


AnswerBelieve it or not, this weed/wildflower is a North American native called spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). A member of the purslane family, it does have beautiful little flowers, but it can become quite invasive. A few flowers one year turn into more each season. The plant is a spring ephemeral, here today and gone with the heat of summer. It reproduces from a tiny bulb-like structure called a corm, which Native Americans actually used as a food source. Depending on how weed-free you want your lawn determines whether you call it a weed or a wildflower.

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