Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a miner forest

Miner's lettuce
(Claytonia perfoliata)

Native to the western mountain and coastal regions of North America, Miner's lettuce is found from Alaska to Central America. It's common in the spring, and prefers cool, damp conditions., often appearing in sunlit areas after the first heavy rains. As days get hotter and the leaves dry out, they turn from green to a deep red color.

The common name "Miner's lettuce" refers the plant's use by California gold rush miners who ate it to get their vitamin C to prevent scurvy. People still eat miner's lettuce as a leaf vegetable, most commonly raw in salads, sometimes boiled like spinach.

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