Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Annual
Claytonia perfoliata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Miner's Lettuce
Claytonia perfoliata
Portulacaceae

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].

  • Medicinal Use

    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].

  • Edible Use

    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].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates rapidly.
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].
N. America. Naturalized in Britain.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.