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Springtime at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate is especially glorious with the carpet of tiny white blossoms that covers the grounds.  Spring Beauty—often referred to as “Spring Beauties” —has been blooming every spring on the estate for generations.  Claytonia virginica is the botanical name for this perennial, in honor for Colonial Virginia botanist, John Clayton (1694-1773).  It is also known as Eastern spring beauty, Virginia spring beauty, or fairy spud (!).  The individual flowers bloom for three days, although the five stamens on each flower are only active for one day. Mowing of the Ashland lawn cannot ensue until the Spring Beauties are done blossoming.

Spring Beauties. Photo c/o Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.

Spring Beauties emerging by Ashland’s Dairy Cellar. March 10, 2012.

Photo by Elizabeth Ledford, featured for March from Ashland’s 2012 calendar

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