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Mitchella repens

Common Name(s):

Description

Mitchella repens, commonly called partridge berry (also partridgeberry), is an herbaceous, woodland, mat-forming, evergreen perennial that is indigenous to eastern North America. This is a prostrate plant that reaches only 2” tall but will spread by trailing stems to 12” wide or more.  

 

This evergreen ground cover displays interesting foliage, flowers, and fruit. Plant in woodland/shade gardens, under trees and in part shade areas of border fronts and rock gardens. Also effective around small ponds. Many gardeners believe this ground cover is not appropriately aggressive for large areas and is best grown in smaller sites.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

   

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#fragrant#white#birds#songbirds#partial shade#summer#edible#spring#perennial#herbs#native plants#red berries#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#shade tolerant#broadleaf evergreen#colorful#winter interest#small mammals#wild turkeys#quail#ground cover
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#fragrant#white#birds#songbirds#partial shade#summer#edible#spring#perennial#herbs#native plants#red berries#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#shade tolerant#broadleaf evergreen#colorful#winter interest#small mammals#wild turkeys#quail#ground cover
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Mitchella
    Species:
    repens
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, quail, and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 1 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    The flowers are subsequently followed by round, bright red berries that typically ripen in late summer. A pair of flowers yields one berry, hence the additional common name of twinberry for this plant. The berries, which have a tiny dimple and star-shaped marks, are edible but rather tasteless. The berries often persist on the plants throughout winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Partridgeberry features fragrant, four-lobed, funnel-shaped, white flowers (to 1/2” long) which are lightly flushed with pink. The flowers bloom in spring in pairs mostly at the stem ends.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Partridgeberry has oval to round, opposite, glossy, dark green leaves (to 3/4” long) with whitish veins appear in pairs along the stems. The leaves are 0.5-0.7 in. long. This plant has 6-12 in. slender, trailing stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Edible
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil