Welcome to this site in celebration of a beautiful new public garden in historic Old New Castle, Delaware. It is located behind The Dutch House at 32 East Third St, Old New Castle, DE 19720. Directions

The garden is home to over 200 different species of trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns and grasses. They are all North American native plants and almost every one is native to the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Many are native to Delaware.

If you would like to schedule a guided tour, please contact The New Castle Historical Society at 302-322-2794.

Click on any of the photos for an enlarged view

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)

Claytonia virginica (spring beauties)3-6"h, pink/white flower in spring, shade to part sun, moist soil, native to DE and much of the eastern half of the US

John Clayton (1694–1773) was a Colonial plant collector in Virginia. Clayton was born in England, and moved to Virginia with his father in 1715, where he lived in Gloucester County, near the Chesapeake Bay, exploring the region botanically. Clayton sent many specimens, as well as manuscript descriptions, to Dutch botanist Jan Frederik Gronovius in the 1730s. Without Clayton's knowledge, Gronovius used the material in his Flora Virginica (1739–1743, 2nd ed. 1762). Many of Clayton’s specimens were also studied by the European botanists Carl Linnaeus and George Clifford. In Clayton’s honor, Linnaeus named a common eastern North American wildflower, the spring beauty, Claytonia virginica. (this paragraph was copied from Wikipedia)

The corm of this plant is edible by humans. Here is an Illinois Wildflowers webpage with more information about this spring beauty.

The USDA plant database contains this link to Native American Ethnobotany from the University of Michigan which details the edible and medicinal use of spring beauty.

The University of Wisconsin Herbarium webpage contains links to several sites with more information and beautiful photographs of Claytonia virginica.

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