Miner’s Lettuce

Scientific Name: Claytonia perfoliata

Fact Box:

  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Montiaceae
  • Genus: Claytonia
  • Species: C. perfoliata


Native to California, miner’s lettuce is a leafy green plant with tiny white or light pink flowers. Developing from a basal rosette, this winter vegetable sports perfoliate leaves— leaves that completely encircle the stem— when mature, hence the species name perfoliata.


Eaten raw in salads or boiled, miner’s lettuce is a delicious, fresh, and mild vegetable packed with Vitamin C. In fact, miners during the gold rush ate this leafy green to prevent scurvy. Additionally, miner’s lettuce is self-pollinating, so it spreads rapidly and functions as a great ground cover.