Photograph from Lewis and Clark Herbarium/Academy of Natural Sciences
Western Springbeauty (Lanceleaf Springbeauty)
June 27, 1806, on the Lolo Trail, Idaho.
A small, slender, delicate plant with a pair of succulent leaves at midstem and a loose raceme of white, pink, or rose bowl-shaped flowers 0.3-0.8 in (0.8-2 cm) wide. Leaves long, narrow; 0.5-3.5 in (1.5-9 cm). Height: 2-10 in (5-25 cm).
Moist ground, especially near snowbanks, from foothills to high mountains.
British Columbia south to southern California and east to Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Alberta.
As the name suggests, western springbeauty blooms in the spring, barely waiting for the snow to melt. This perennial grows from a deeply buried, spherical, underground stem; when cooked, the stem tastes like a potato.