Miner's Lettuce,  Claytonia perfoliata

Early bloomer.  Small white or pink flowers, 5 petals, umbrella-like leaves.  Edible, cooked or raw; also many medicinal uses.

Notes: Also called Winter Purslane.  Formerly called Montia perfoliata.  A native and member of the Purslane Family (Portulacaceae). It was named after John Clayton, a colonial American botanist. Perfoliata means: through leaf, because the flowers "perforate" through the leaf see photo below.  This genus has 28 species in North and Central America, and eastern Asia. It prefers shaded, moist areas.  Miners ate it. Leaves and stems can be eaten raw or boiled, best eaten when young.  Roots are also edible.  It is a good source of vitamin C.  It is now grown as a delicacy in Europe a gourmet salad green, and also eaten cooked, like spinach.  The Indians used the leaves as a laxative tea.  The black seeds are a food source for birds. 

Click on species name below to go to USDA for this plant

Kingdom Plantae -- Plants 
    Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants 
        Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants 
            Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants 
                Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons 
                    Subclass Caryophyllidae 
                        Order Caryophyllales 
                            Family Portulacaceae -- Purslane family 
                                Genus Claytonia L. -- springbeauty 
                                    Species Claytonia perfoliata Donn ex Willd.
                                    -- miner's lettuce

Miner's Lettuce,  Claytonia perfoliata