Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Mitchella repens L.
- Family: Madder (Rubiaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: Partridge-berry is recognized by its creeping stems with round, opposite, evergreen leaves, small white flowers in the axils of the leaves, and bright red fruits.
- Habitat: Rich woods, damp shaded cliffs, steep ravines, hammocks, sandy bogs.
- Habit: Creeping perennial herb with fibrous roots, often forming mats.
- Stems: Creeping, slender, rooting at the nodes, branched, smooth except for a few hairy
patches, up to 1 foot long.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, evergreen, orbicular to ovate, rounded or sometimes heart-shaped
at the base, usually smooth, without teeth, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Borne in pairs, terminal or in the axils of the leaves, 1/2 - 2/3 inch long, united by
- Sepals: 4, green, united, minute.
- Petals: 4, white, sometimes pink-tinged, united to form a slender tubular funnel; lobes hairy on
the inner face.
- Stamens: 4, attached to the top of the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior; stigmas 4.
- Fruits: Twin drupes, red, spherical, up to 1/3 inch in diameter, with persistent sepals.
- Notes: This evergreen creeper is a popular plant for terraria. The flowers are fragrant. Some
flowers on the plant have the stamens longer than the petals, while other flowers have stamens
shorter than the petals. The fruits are said to be edible.
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