Miner's lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, is a small succulent green plant that grows in cool moist shady spots. It is edible - and very good, crunchy like nice lettuce. It got the name miner's lettuce from the California gold rush days, when mountain miners often ate it to cure scurvy. Miner's lettuce is in the Portulacaceae family, related to Portulaca and purslane.

It's easy to find and to identify, and grows everywhere in the California mountains as a common weed. When it's young, the leaves are triangular or spade shaped -- one leaf per stem, coming up from a central rosette of stems. Later, the leaves turn round like little lily pads, with a tiny white flower in the center. It tastes good raw.

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