The stem is light green. The basal leaves are linear or linear-lanceolate, slightly recurved and fleshy. There is a single central vein along the length of each leaf. The stem terminates in a floppy raceme of flowers. Each flower is about 8 mm. (1/3") across when it is fully open, consisting of 5 petals, 2 green sepals, 5 stamens with pink anthers, and a pistil with a tripartite style. The petals are white with fine pink stripes. The flowers open up on warm sunny days, and close during cloudy weather or at night. They are more or less erect while open, but nod downward while closed. There is a pleasant floral scent.
Spring Beauty by Mary T. Hoffman
Spring Beauty: a humble flower,
A pleasure to behold;
Delicate and unassuming,
Blooming on forest floor
Where nature's treasure lies in store
For those who seek in quiet places
A rare reward.
(Written May 2007)