In our Northern California garden, while seeking a reliable perennial lettuce substitute, we stumbled upon our own version of PERMA LETTUCE—Miner's lettuce. It was quite literally growing under our feet! This amazing perennial plant volunteered itself in the garden and has proven to be as reliable as it is delicious. Not only does it capture the essence of spring with its tender bite, but it also carries a legacy as a nourishing source of Vitamin C, once cherished by gold miners. (Claytonia perfoliata)
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love Miner's Lettuce...
1) SHADE LOVING - Miner's lettuce thrives in shady spots, making it ideal for those cooler, underused areas of the garden.
2) EDIBLE ORNAMENTAL - Its delicate, lush leaves bring beauty to the garden, serving both as a pretty ground cover and a tasty treat.
3) EARLY SPRING CROP - It's one of the first greens to greet the spring, offering a fresh, vibrant crop when most plants are just waking up.
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Perma Lettuce - Miner's Lettuce:
|SUN||PREFERS PARTIAL TO FULL SHADE
|MOISTURE||LIKES MOIST SOIL|
Can be grown as a self-sowing annual everywhere else.
|SIZE||1 FOOT TALL & WIDE|
|PRO TIP||They have rather delicate roots, so best to use a scissors to harvest or pinch individual stems between your fingers so you don’t accidentally uproot the whole plant.|
How to Harvest & Use It
For a continuous supply of Miner's lettuce, harvest gently. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch off leaves at the base or use a scissors to cut at the base. Avoiding tugging the whole plant which can easily uproot due to its delicate roots. Miner's lettuce presents two types of leaves: primary ones around the perimeter and secondary central leaves that flower. To encourage self-seeding for next season, allow some of the flowering leaves to remain and go to seed. Miner’s lettuce contains a moderate amount of oxalates, so individuals with a history of kidney stones should limit consumption and/or speak with your doctor.