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Mitchella repens

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Evergreens, Ground Covers

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam, sand

Height: 1"-3"

Bloom Time: May, June, July

Bloom Color: white, pink

Leaf Color: green, multi-color

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts birds, berries, creeping, edible, evergreen, fall interest, fragrant flowers, mat-forming, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, showy fruit, woodland plant

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
  • Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
  • Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
  • Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
  • Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

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Description

Mitchella repens

Also known as:

partridgeberry

,

partridge berry

,

twinberry

,

running box

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Partridgeberry is a diminutive evergreen groundcover that does not grow more than a couple of inches tall. Its deep green leaves are glossy and often white veined. Dainty, funnel-shaped white to pinkish, fragrant flowers appear in pairs at the end of stems. Red berries develop in late summer and fall. These will persist into winter.

Cultivation

Mitchella repens is a groundcover that will not become invasive and might even be slow to establish. Its delicate appearance makes it better suited for small areas, around water features and in rock gardens. It prefers slightly acidic, rich, well-drained soil that remains moist throughout the summer months, but can tolerate drier conditions once established. The trailing stems will root readily as they come in contact with the soil. Blooms late spring and early summer, May - July. Zones 3-8

Propagation

It is easiest to propagate by gently separating rooted stems from the plant. It may also be propagated by seed, root division and softwood cuttings. Collected seeds will require moist stratification.

Additional Notes

The fruit of the partridgeberry often persist through winter. The berries are edible, if not very tasty, and are a food source for a variety of birds, in particular partridges, hence the common name.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Threatened: IA

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Rubiales
Family Rubiaceae Madder family
Genus Mitchella mitchella
Species Mitchella repens partridgeberry