Growing Guide
 
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Claytonia

Vegetable (Cool Season) - Salad Greens

Also known as Miner’s lettuce, winter purslane
Claytonia perfoliata
Portulacaceae Family
Synonym: Montia perfoliata

This cool-season salad green readily self-seeds and can overwinter in Zone 6 and warmer. While somewhat aggressive, it makes a handsome low-growing cover for edible landscaping.

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Site Characteristics
Sunlight:
  • full sun
  • part shade
Prefers part shade in hot weather.

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates low fertility
Prefers moist, sandy-loam soils, rich in organic matter, near-netural pH 6.5 to 7. Needs consistent moisture.

Hardiness zones:

  • 6 to 9
Often overwinters unprotected in Zone 6, and can be grown as a winter crop in Zone 7.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Usually grown as an annual in Zone 5 and colder.

Ease-of-care: easy

Flower color: white

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Special Considerations
Tolerates:
  • frost - Tolerates moderate frost
Special characteristics:
  • native to North America - Native to western North America from British Columbia to Mexico.
Special uses:
  • edible flowers - Unlike most cool-season salad greens, claytonia maintains flavor and quality even when in flower. Hot weather turns it bitter.
  • edible landscaping - Low-growing, cool-season salad green with dark green foliage and small white flowers.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed

Germination temperature: 50 F to 55 F

Days to emergence: 7 to 10

Seed can be saved 5 years.

Maintenance and care:
4 to 6 weeks before last spring frost, direct seed inch deep, inch apart in rows 8 to 12 inches apart.

Make succession plantings from early to midspring. Resume plantings in late summer to midfall for fall and winter harvest.

Thin to 2 to 3 inches if harvesting cut-and-come-again style, or 4 to 6 inches if harvesting leaves individually.

Unlike most greens, claytonia maintains flavor and quality even when plants flower. Flavor turns bitter in hot weather.

Plants may overwinter in Zone 6 and warmer. Can be grown as a winter crop in a cold frame in Zones 4 and 5.

Varieties
Browse claytonia varieties at our Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website.

Cultivated plants are essentially unimproved from those found in the wild.