Content Detail

Spring beauty has delicate white to pink flowers with darker pink striped petals balanced on thin red stems. The green buds droop until the flowers open upright. These harbingers of spring are easily identified by the flowers and the two strappy leaves on each stem. One of the most abundant spring wildflowers in the woods at The Morton Arboretum.

This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

  • Family (English) Purslane
  • Family (botanic) Portulacaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area
  • Size range Low-growing plant (under 6 inches), Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Wet sites
  • Season of interest late spring, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, White
  • Shape or form Open
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and form:

A low-growing ephemeral that reaches six to eight inches tall. Both flowers and leaves will go dormant by mid-summer.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to eastern North America. C-Value: 2

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Bees and other pollinators are attracted to spring beauty.

Leaf description:

A pair of long, narrow leaves on either side of the stem.

Flower description:

White to pale pink five-petaled flowers with darker pink stripes are produced April through June. The flowers open upward during sunny days and close up at night. On cloudy days they stay closed and nod downward.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Round capsule containing a few round, black seeds. 

Plant care:

They prefer moist, rich, loamy soil in part to full shade. These low maintenance plants naturalize on their own. Mass in rock gardens, woodland gardens, meadows, naturalized areas or wildflower gardens.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

There aren’t any serious problems.

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