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Partridge Berry

Mitchella repens

Description:

Lovely little "fuzzy" white flowers. This is such an interesting plant - both flowers are fused at the ovary and both must be pollinated to obtain one berry. Furthermore, the flowers are not self-pollintaing! If you look carefully at the resulting fruit, you can see the "dots" that remain from the two flowers. I always thought these were blemishes caused by birds or insects and never noticed that I always saw two spots on these little berries. What an amazing little adventure happening a mere two inches off the forest floor! Supposedly, American Indian women made a tea from the leaves and berries that was consumed during childbirth. The scarlet berries are edible but rather tasteless, with a faint flavour of wintergreen, resembling cranberries (to which they are not closely related).

Habitat:

Partridge Berry is found throughout eastern North America from Newfoundland to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Texas and Florida. Partridge berry is a fairly common inhabitant of deciduous and coniferous forests in rich organic soils with dappled sunlight to complete shade.

Notes:

Spotted growing near an old cemetery in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can see what the berries look like in this spotting of mine: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/214...

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QWMom
Spotted by
QWMom

Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Jun 1, 2013
Submitted on Jun 3, 2013

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