10. Claytonia multiscapa Rydberg, Fl. Rocky Mts. 263, 1061. 1917.
Rydberg’s spring beauty
Claytonia czukczorum Volkova; C. lanceolata Pursh var. flava (A. Nelson) C. L. Hitchcock; C. lanceolata var. multiscapa (Rydberg) C. L. Hitchcock; C. lanceolata var. pacifica McNeill; C. tuberosa Pallas ex Willdenow var. czukczorum (Volkova) Hultén
Plants perennial, with globose tubers 10-30 mm diam.; periderm 1-5 mm. Stems 10-30 cm. Leaves: basal leaves sometimes absent, petiolate, blades linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1-8 × 0.2-1.3 cm, apex acute; cauline leaves sessile, blade linear or linear-lanceolate, 2-10 cm, distinctly tapered. Inflorescences multibracteate; proximalmost bracts leaflike, inserted proximal to pedicels of proximalmost cluster of flowers, distal bracts reduced to membranous scales, rarely with 1 bract. Flowers 8-14 mm diam.; sepals 3-5 mm; petals white with yellow spots at base, creamy white, or rich yellow to yellow-orange, 8-10 mm; ovules 6. Seeds 1-2 mm diam., shiny and smooth to minutely tuberculate; elaiosome 1 mm or less. 2n = 16.
Flowering May-Aug. Moist to dry grasslands and montane coniferous forests, often in swales with heavy, poorly drained clay soils in the south to wet, rocky tundra in the north; 0-2000 m; B.C.; Alaska, Idaho, Mont., Wash., Wyo.; Eurasia (Russia).
Claytonia multiscapa has been the source of taxonomic differences of opinion. Local floras have treated the synonymous C. flava as a distinct species (e.g., R. D. Dorn 1977) while one regional flora (C. L. Hitchcock et al. 1955-1969, vol. 2) united it with C. lanceolata. It is treated here as a distinct species based on the electrophoretic and field work of J. S. Shelly (1998) and the author’s examination of type material.