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Claytonia Perfoliata

Miner's lettuce!

The husband and I found a patch of it growing in my neighborhood. What the heck is it doing here? It was just growing out in the open between a fence and the public sidewalk. No cover of trees, bushes, or anything, which to us was weird because we thought the wild plant can only grow in the shade. We also think of it growing out in the wilds.

I was not really curious about it until today. So, gentle readers, here's what I learned: Miner's Lettuce is part of the purslane family. No kidding. It grows throughout the United States. Some folks also know the edible plant as Winter Purslane, Spring Beauty, or Indian lettuce. Claytonia perfoliata for those who like knowing scientific nomenclature. Claytonia perfoliata. That would make a great title for an Italian opera.

Supposedly, the plant got called Miner's Lettuce in California because the gold rush miners ate the green to stave off scurvy. According to various sources on the Web, Miner's Lettuce is rich in vitamins A and C. Good to know, if I ever become lost in the wilds or my neighborhood.

To learn more about eating Miner's Lettuce, check out this link: Miner's Lettuce Salad at The Gardener's Pantry.

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