Claytonia virginica L., otherwise known as Spring Beauty, is a part of the Purslane Family. This perennial herb is often considered a “sign of spring” because it is one of the earliest blooming spring flowers. The sweetly scented Spring Beauty overwinters and propagates through its corm (swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ). Spring Beauty has made most of eastern North America its home. It has been located as far south as Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and as far north as Canada and Maine. Spring Beauty’s flower has five petals, five curved stamens, and three lobed stigmas, while the leaves are slender and lanceolate. The seeds are very small and are released when the capsule fruit breaks open. The seeds also have elaiosomes (fleshy structures on the seeds that are high in lipids and proteins) that allow for ant dispersal.
Spring Beauty has a very short life-span; therefore, instead of spending time and money to control it, one might choose to admire the beauty of the weed. Due to its low growing habit, mowing is usually not a viable option for control. Maintaining a strong turf canopy through proper turf cultural practices goes a long way in controlling this weed. For chemical control, broadleaf herbicides such as 2,4-D, mecoprop (MCPP), MCPA, dicamba, and tricolpyr are available. As always, read the herbicide labels and use the recommended rates.