Partridge Berry (Mitchella Repens) is a low-growing perennial, evergreen, woody herb with a delicate, creeping vine. It is native to North America and belongs to the Madder Family (Rubiaceae). Other common names for the plant include two-eyed berry, running fox, and Noon Kie oo Nah.
In addition to its ease of cultivation, people prefer adding a Partridge Berry to their gardens because of its beauty, especially in winter.
Partridge Berry grows on a non-climbing vine that doesn't grow over 6 cm tall. It also has slender, creeping stems that lay prostrate on the ground without climbing and grow up to 15 and 30 cm long.
Partirdge berry has dark green, evergreen, shiny leaves with a pale yellow midrib and an ovate to cordate shape. The leaves grow oppositely on the stems and are attached by short petioles.
The creeping stems have a pale green to brown color and develop adventitious roots at the nodes, which might grow into colonies, creating loose spreading green mats.
The Partridge berry produces pairs of small, axillary, white, or pink flowers. Every flower grows from a common calyx covered with fine hairs. The trumpet-shaped flowers grow to around one inch and have four small petals, four stamens, and one pistil.
Partridge berry is an evergreen ground cover, perfect for Winter beds.
The flowers of the Partridge berry plant appear in two forms. In the initial form, the stamens are long, and the pistil is short. In the second form, the stamens are short, while the pistil is long.
These forms keep the flowers from fertilizing themselves. The ones with short stamens are called pins, while the ones with long stamens are called thrums.
After both flowers are pollinated, their ovaries fuse to form small red berries. The berries, therefore, have two red spots because of the process. The berries are tasteless but ripen from July to October and might persist throughout the winter.
The berries contain up to eight seeds and a good diet for birds like northern bobwhite, wild turkey, and ruffled goose.
How to grow Partridge Berry
The Partridge Berry naturally grows along stream banks, in coniferous or deciduous forests, in bottomlands, or on rotten logs. When planting it in your garden, ensure you plant it under deep shade, like under trees or bushes, where it only receives around two hours of the direct morning sun. Ensure the soil is always moist with high organic matter content and a pH of less than six.
It requires little to no maintenance, but you should ensure that garden debris and leaves don't cover the spreading mat.
If you want to add more of these plants to your garden, propagating via seeds is very difficult, but you can easily do it using cuttings. One of its most common uses is as a Christmas decoration because it remains dark green throughout the winter.
You can plant Partridge berry as a border plant around your garden, a small pod, or a fountain.
- Green, White, Red
- Ships As:
- Bare root vine
- All Year
- Partial - Full Shade
- Deer Resistant:
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My vines arrived in great shape. I can't wait to watch them grow.
Partridgeberry plants prefer partial to full shade and moist, well-draining soil. They can be grown in woodland settings, rock gardens, or as a groundcover beneath shrubs or trees.