We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Claytonia perfoliata - Donn. ex Willd.

Common Name Miner's Lettuce
Family Portulacaceae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Disturbed and waste ground, moist banks and slopes, often in partial shade, especially on light soils[17, 85]. Also found on rather dry sandy soils[50].
Range Western N. America - British Columbia to California and Mexico. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Claytonia perfoliata Miner

Claytonia perfoliata Miner


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Claytonia perfoliata is a ANNUAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Claytonia perfoliata. Montia perfoliata (Donn ex Willd.)

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 5, 12, 27, 52, 62]. A fairly bland flavour with a mucilaginous texture, it is quite nice in a salad[183, K]. The young leaves are best[85], older leaves can turn bitter especially in the summer and if the plant is growing in a hot dry position[K]. Although individual leaves are fairly small, they are produced in abundance and are easily picked[K]. Stalks and flowers - raw[52]. A nice addition to the salad bowl[K]. Bulb - raw[5, 53, 62]. Although very small and labour-intensive to harvest, the boiled and peeled root has the flavour of chestnuts[244]. Another report says that the plant has a fibrous root system[62] so this report seems to be erroneous[K].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antirheumatic  Laxative  Vitamin C

The leaves are gently laxative[94]. Apart from its value as a nourishing vegetable that is rich in vitamin C, it can also be taken as an invigorating spring tonic and an effective diuretic[254]. A poultice of the mashed plants has been applied to rheumatic joints[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Although only an annual, this species makes an excellent ground cover in a cool acid soil under trees. In such a position it usually self-sows freely[208] and grows all year round[K].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist peaty soil[1, 60]. It is often found growing wild on sandy soils[264]. An easily grown plant, it can succeed on very poor and dry soils[52, 60]. Plants grow well the dappled shade of trees, producing a better quality crop in such a situation[52, 60, 264]. Although only an annual[208], it usually self-sows when well sited. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c. Miner's lettuce is occasionally cultivated as a salad plant[1, 46]. It's main value is as a reliable producer of leaves in the winter, though it can provide leaves all year round[141, 200, 264]. It can be grown as a cut and come again crop[183]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. A self-seeding annual [1-2]. A clumping mat former. Forming a dense prostrate carpet spreading indefinitely [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates rapidly.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

May be weedy or invasive.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Claytonia acutifoliaBering Sea Spring BeautyPerennial0.2 -  LMNM30 
Claytonia carolinianaBroad-Leaved Spring Beauty, Carolina springbeautyPerennial0.1 5-9  LMNM301
Claytonia exiguaPale Spring Beauty, Serpentine springbeautyAnnual0.1 0-0  LMHFSNDM20 
Claytonia lanceolataLanceleaf Spring Beauty, Idaho springbeauty, Pacific springbeauty, Peirson's springbeautyPerennial0.2 4-8  LMNM30 
Claytonia megarhizaAlpine Spring BeautyPerennial0.2 4-8  LMNM30 
Claytonia scammanianaScamman's Claytonia, Scamman's springbeautyPerennial0.2 0-0  LMNM20 
Claytonia sibiricaPink Purslane, Siberian springbeautyAnnual/Perennial0.2 3-7  LMHFSNDM413
Claytonia tuberosaTuberous Spring BeautyPerennial0.2 4-8  LMNM30 
Claytonia umbellataGreat Basin Spring BeautyPerennial0.2 -  LMNM20 
Claytonia virginicaSpring Beauty, Virginia springbeauty, Hammond's claytonia, Yellow Virginia springbeautyPerennial0.2 5-7 MLMSM31 
Osmunda claytonianaInterrupted FernFern0.5 3-7  LMHSNMWe21 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Donn. ex Willd.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Klaus   Thu Aug 16 16:17:51 2001

In fact, the seed of a common german variety ("Winterportulak")just germinates rapidly when it had a cold period. Freshly ripe seed sown in the same summer needs up to 4-6 weeks to germinate. (This was told to me by Reinhard Ehrentraut, an organic farmer who produces the seed)

Wendy Hocking - Australia   Tue Sep 12 2006

Miner's lettuce - Montia perfoliata, was brought to Australia during the goldrush days in New South Wales and Victoria by miners from the American goldfields. It now grows wild along creeks and waterways in a number of old worked-out fields.

david n   Fri Oct 24 2008

It's possible this plant is more tolerant of growing under conifers than most. I just found a colony of it growing wild under the shade of a conifer, never seen it around here before(wellington, New Zealand) that may have given it the edge over weeds around here that would otherwise smother it, it was in a spot the council probably mow a bit, that may also explain it.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Claytonia perfoliata  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.