One of the most easily recognized edible native herbaceous plants in the region, miner’s lettuce is a tasty spring delight! You’ll find miner’s lettuce in vernally moist locations in the the understory of chaparral, oak woodland, and conifer forests, where it can often grow in large patches. It is an annual herb in the Montia (Montiaceae) plant family that is native to the western United States, and grows from sea level to mid elevations. Miner’s lettuce can grow anywhere from 2″-12″ depending on site conditions and annual soil moisture. The small white flowers that bloom in early spring are set against the backdrop of two fused stem leaves that form a disk beneath the flowers. Miner’s lettuce can be picked and eaten on site or saved for a delicious prepared salad. It is best to eat the greens before flowering because it can become bitter after flowering. Miner’s lettuce is sometimes found for sale at local farmer’s markets and specialty shops in the American West; however, in Europe, this species is called winter purslane and is also sold as a salad green in some places. Miner’s lettuce is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types, but needs moisture in spring. Flies are its main pollinator.
Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) seed packets contain approximately 60 seeds per packet.
Seed Germination Instructions
60 days cold-moist stratification. Sow seeds outside in fall to early spring.