Arizona Native Status: Native. These leaves may develop a bitter taste, so focus on picking green leaves from shady, moist places. This aggressive self-seeding plant can overwinter in USDA zone 6 and warmer and is an excellent edible ground cover. Actually, it doesn’t even need the goat cheese. Your purchase through the links helps me create content like this post, Miner’s lettuce was brought to Europe back in 1794, A food forest is a great place to plant miner’s lettuce, How to Deal with Compacted Soil (without digging), Usher in Spring with Osoberry (Indian Plum). Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The entire miner’s lettuce plant is edible, but the tenderest and tastiest parts are the terminal leaves. I’ve even been known to hike with a small bottle of salad dressing so I can enjoy a picnic of miner’s lettuce on the spot. Most miner’s lettuce is easily recognizable by its round leaves perforated at the center by its stems and flowers. All Rights Reserved. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It was a plentiful green, and its high vitamin C levels kept scurvy among the miners at bay. If miner’s lettuce doesn’t grow wild where you live, you can order seeds to start your miner’s lettuce crop. Miner’s lettuce got its name during the gold rush when fresh vegetables were hard to come by. Miner’s Lettuce is native to Western North America, finding a wild home in forest understories, thickets, and meadow edges. At the very least, miner’s lettuce self-seeds freely, and as a result, it returns to the same area year after year. The tender, crisp leaves average 2-15 centimeters in diameter and grow in a rosette … Miner’s lettuce also contains good amounts of iron and vitamin A. Succulent and crunchy, miner’s lettuce stays sweet and mild even after it flowers, unlike many greens. In many places it’s one of the earliest spring greens to appear. Miner’s lettuce … Your email address will not be published. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is … I found a stand of it along a path that is getting trampled on. It was planted in Kew Gardens in London at the end of the 18th century, and was spread by British colonizers as far away as Cuba and Australia in the following decades. It’s better to do it when it’s not too hot, and before the plants set seed. It has become naturalized in Europe because of its use as a vegetable. Enjoy the stems, leaves, and tiny white flowers of this lush edible groundcover in shady garden spaces or as Winter salad greens - raw or cooked! Description/Taste Miner’s lettuce is small in size consisting of slender, trailing vines that have round, disk-like leaves. The most common species of miners lettuce should be Claytonia perfoliata, but there are a number of different specie. Yes, you can transplant miner’s lettuce. Sunny, dry conditions stress plants and give foliage a reddish tint. Though technically a perennial in zones 6 through 9, miner’s lettuce is treated as an annual and can be grown in colder climates once weather warms. Whenever possible, I arrange to visit a friend in the Bay Area in March or April, so I can get my fill of this succulent, tasty green. However, depending on the location or time of year, the terminal leaves may be more pointy or wing shaped. Ellen Zachos is a forager and horticulturist who is passionate about wild food and drink. This plant grows in moist, shady areas … It’s native companions are varied, but include Ostrich Fern, Nettle, Woodland Strawberry, Pacific Waterleaf, and Thimble/Salmon berries. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Because it’s a reliable self-seeder, you should only have to plant it once. I love living in Santa Fe, really I do. Miner’s lettuce is a perennial vegetable native to much of the western United States and Canada. Your email address will not be published. Claytonia perfoliata is a ANNUAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). This won’t cost you a penny, but the teeny tiny bit I earn will help offset the expenses of maintaining this website. Miner’s lettuce growing conditions tend to be cool and moist. Common Name: Miner's Lettuce. Plants growing in shade will be tastier and more tender than those growing in sun. It’s not picky about soil quality, though performs best when soils are high in organic matter and kept evenly moist. Generally grown as a self-sown annual - here in … Old world explorers of North America were so taken with the flavor of miner’s lettuce that they brought seeds back to Europe. Miner’s lettuce needs nothing more than a simple vinaigrette and a few crumbles of goat cheese. Currently the only ones I’ve cooked with are the most classic (C. perfoliata), and the red version sometimes sold by purveyors which should be Claytonia rubra. But if you live in the area where it’s native, this is a fantastic native wild vegetable … It’s such an attractive plant, I’d grow it as an ornamental ground cover, although I’d probably end up eating it all. Plant Characteristics. Despite it being classified as an annual plant, there are some people who swear miner’s lettuce is perennial, with the same plants returning year after year. It is not frost tender. Required fields are marked *. Some blog posts here include links to products on Amazon. We originally bought ours from Fedco Seeds in Maine. Thanks! But one of my favorite wild greens, miner’s lettuce, doesn’t grow wild here. Young stems are often tender enough to use in salads, but if you don’t like how they look, you can pinch them off the round leaves when you get home. And the sooner the better. Miner’s lettuce is has a very high content of Vitamin C, A and other vitamins and minerals - hence the name: miners … Duration: Annual, Perennial. Pinch the stem just above the bottom leaves, leaving them behind to continue growing. Miner’s lettuce is such a mild, tasty leaf, it’s best appreciated fresh and raw, either in a salad or tucked into a sandwich. Enter your email address and I'll send you notifications of new posts. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to July. If miner’s lettuce doesn’t grow wild where you live, you can Seven Spring Greens: Coming Soon to a Field or Forest Near You. And let’s face it, the climate in Santa Fe is too dry, too hot, and too sunny to keep miner’s lettuce happy. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! At the very least, miner’s lettuce self-seeds freely, and as a result, it returns to the same area year after year. Despite it being classified as an annual plant, there are some people who swear miner’s lettuce is perennial, with the same plants returning year after year. It’s one of the few greens you could make an entire salad out of and find it neither boring nor overpowering. While it grows well in shade, it can also take sun. In many places it’s one of the earliest spring greens to appear. Habitat: Riparian. Please log in again. Growing Miner’s Lettuce – A Fantastic Native Wild Vegetable, Posts may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Eaten by miners during the California gold rush to ward off scurvy – this much-loved native spans the Pacific coast from Canada to Central America! Most seed companies sell it as Claytonia, for its latin name Claytonia perfoliata, rather than under the name “miner’s lettuce.” It’s also sometimes called “winter purslane” because the leaves are thick and juicy, much like the purslane you can harvest in the summer months. That way, the seed will drop in your garden/yard, which will give you a bigger harvest next year. Native to the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, it blankets hillsides there in early spring, when cool temperatures and moist growing conditions encourage lush, juicy growth. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window). The login page will open in a new tab. Growth Habit: Herb/Forb. It thrives on moist soils, but can even find purchase in dry sandy areas. I was wondering if miner’s lettuce could be transplanted? Small pink or white flowers are held, centered, above the disc-shaped leaves in spring and are also edible.