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Claytonia lanceolata is a widespread perennial herb that typically blooms in areas where snow persists, occurring along mountain corridors from Canada to southern California. Numerous varieties have been described for this species, but most are not recognized under current taxonomic treatments. The discovery of new populations of C. lanceolata in southern California is reported, and the taxonomic uncertainties associated with the C. lanceolata species complex and the southern California var. peirsonii are discussed. Subtle characters for distinguishing the southern populations of C. lanceolata may be obscured during the process of making herbarium specimens. We clarify some of the distinguishing morphological features and associated ecology of C. lanceolata var. peirsonii. Based on detailed field observations in southern California, information is collated for populations across the entire known range of the variety. Recommendations are made regarding opportunities for further investigation, and information pertinent to the conservation of C. lanceolata var. peirsonii in California is updated.