Mitchella repens  L. - Partridge Berry


 

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Mitchella repens - (image 1 of 5)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Rubiaceae

Habitat

Acid woodlands, often on hummocks in swamp forest. Also old dune slopes, mesic woods, and wood adjacent to bogs

Associates

 

 Distribution

New England south to Florida, west MN to TX.

Morphology

Mat-forming, creeping evergreen; stems rooting at nodes. Leaves opposite, round, to 2 cm long, petiolate. Flowers white, mostly terminal, 4-merous, paired, hypanthia united; corolla tube with short, recurved lobes that are hairy on the inner surface; ovary 4-locular. Fruit a bright red berry consisting of two ovaries fused together, 8-seeded, with the remnants of the two whorls of sepals on top.

Notes

Flowers late May to early September

Wetland indicator: Facultative Upland +

It is interesting to contrast the flowers with the fruit...two flowers, one berry.

 

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 

USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

 

 


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 Michael Hough 2005