Claytonia sibirica - Pink Purslane

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Montiaceae

Pink Purslane Claytonia siberica


Pink Purslane grows to a height of typically 15 to 30cm and is an annual with upright hairless stems that each bear a few flowers. Its fleshy dark-green leaves, typically 3 to 5cm long, are ovoate to broadly lanceolate, the lower leaves and stems sometimes turning red, making this a very attractive woodland and waterside plant.

Flowers of Pink Purslane - closeup picture

The five-petalled flowers, 15 to 20cm across, are most often pink or mauve, but is is not uncommon to come across plants whose flowers are entirely white. The individual petals are notched at their tips, often quite deeply so.

Flowering Times

The first of the flowers open in April, and Pink Purslane continues blooming until July.


Pink Purslane is most commonly encountered in damp woods on acidic soils, but it also occurs on stream banks, especially where shaded by trees and bushes.


Like its close relative Spring Beauty Claytonia perfoliata, this is an introduced species, but it is now widely naturalised throughout the UK except for the far north of Scotland. Pink Purslane is also found in Ireland and on mainland Europe as well as in North America.


Reported to be edible either raw or cooked, in the past the leaves of Pink Purslane have also been used to treat skin conditions including dandruff.


The genus name Claytonia honours Virginian botanist John Clayton (c. 1694 - 1773), while the specific epithet sibirica indicates that it came from Siberia, where it is a native wildflower'. The common name Pink Purslane arose because this pink-flowered plant was formerly included in the family Portulacaceae, members of which are commonly referred to as purslanes. One of the commion names given to this wildflower is Siberian Spring Beauty,

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