Indian Potato or Eskimo Potato
All of the various Claytonia species are somewhat fleshy plants
only a few centimeters tall, with showy flowers about 2.5 centimeters
across. The blossoms have five petals, and the stem of the plant
is usually narrower where it is in the soil (which makes digging
the tubers out a challenge).
Habitat and Distribution
Some species are found in rich forests where they are conspicuous
before the leaves develop. Western species are found throughout
most of the northern United States and in Canada.
The tubers are edible but you should boil them before eating.
These plants are also called "spring beauty" in
the northern states. Indian potato can be found in many hardwood
forests across North America. The tubers can be tough to dig
up because in most varieties the stem is thinnest underground,
and it's easy to break it before you locate the edible part.
Once you learn to recognize the tubers, though, you can dig in
any area that has a few of the flowers and find them without
having to follow the stems down.
Most of the time, they are only a centimeter or so in diameter.
It takes a lot of them to make a meal, but they are delicious.
I have eaten them raw without any ill effects, but they are generally
roasted or boiled (either alone or as part of a soup or stew).