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Partridge Berry

Mitchella repens


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).


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.


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:

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Spotted by

Tennessee, USA

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

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