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Twinberry Mitchella repens

Phonetic Spelling
my-CHEL-luh REE-penz
Description

Partridgeberry is an evergreen, perennial, woody herb that is a low growing, creeping delicate vine. It is found naturally in forests, stream-banks, on rotten logs, and in bottomlands and other wet habitats. The stems run along the ground in a vine-like fashion often carpeting an area. The leaves are opposite with a smooth margin and white central vein. White, sometimes pinkish, flowers mature in summer. The sprawling herb produces a shiny, red berry with a tiny dimple and star-shaped marks. 

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. This plant is native to North Carolina.

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

   

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#white#partial shade#perennial#red berries#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#broadleaf evergreen#colorful#winter interest#small mammals#herb garden#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#wild turkeys#summer flowers#quail#native garden#groundcover#spring interest#edible garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#food source summer#food source fall#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#birds#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#white#partial shade#perennial#red berries#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#broadleaf evergreen#colorful#winter interest#small mammals#herb garden#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#wild turkeys#summer flowers#quail#native garden#groundcover#spring interest#edible garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#food source summer#food source fall#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#birds#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Mitchella
    Species:
    repens
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, quail, and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 1 in. - 0 ft. 3 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The flowers are subsequently followed by round, bright red berries that typically ripen in late summer (June-July) . 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. They are 1/4" long and 3/8" across.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Partridge Berry features fragrant, four-lobed, tubular, white flowers (to 1/2” long) which are lightly flushed with pink. They appear in May and July. The flowers bloom in spring in pairs mostly at the stem ends.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Partridgeberry has oval to heart-shaped, 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 and pale yellow below. This plant has 6-12 in. slender, trailing stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are very delicate and barely woody. They are pale green to brown in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil