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Mitchella repens - L.

Common Name Partridge Berry
Family Rubiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry or moist knolls in woods[43], on sandy sub-strates[200].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to Florida, west to Texas and Minnesota.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mitchella repens Partridge Berry


Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. South National Technical Center, Fort Worth, TX
Mitchella repens Partridge Berry
http://www.flickr.com/people/7147684@N03

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer. Form: Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Mitchella repens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses: Tea

Fruit - raw[2, 105, 161]. Pleasant and slightly aromatic[183]. Dry and tasteless, with lots of seeds according to another report[4]. The fruit hangs on well on the bush[1]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200]. A tea is made from the leaves[207].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Diuretic  Hypnotic  Oxytoxic  Sedative  Tonic  Women's complaints

Partridge berry was commonly used by several native North American Indian tribes as a parturient to hasten childbirth. It was also occasionally used to treat a variety of other complaints including insomnia, rheumatic pain and fluid retention[254]. It is still used in modern herbalism as an aid to childbirth and is also considered to have a tonic effect upon the uterus and the ovaries[254]. The herb is astringent, diuretic, hypnotic and tonic[4, 21, 102, 165, 192, 213]. Frequent doses of a tea made from the fresh or dried leaves were used by N. American Indian women in the weeks preceding childbirth in order to promote easy delivery[213, 222, 238]. This tea should not be used during the first six months of labour, however, since it can induce a miscarriage[238]. The tea is also used to treat delayed, painful or irregular menses[222, 238]. The tea was also used externally as a wash for hives, swellings, sore nipples, rheumatism etc[222]. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use[238]. A tea made from the berries has a very definite sedating effect on the nervous system[192].

References

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Can be used as a ground cover plant in a shady position[3, 188]. Plants form a spreading carpet, rooting along the stems, and are best spaced about 30cm apart each way[208].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover  Scented Plants

References

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a moist but well-drained lime-free soil and some shade[11]. Prefers a peaty soil[1, 200], succeeding in neutral to acid soils[200]. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c[200]. A trailing plant, the stems forming new roots at the nodes[192]. The dried leaves have a scent of newly mown hay[245]. The flowers have a pleasant sweet fragrance[245]. Succeeds in the shade of trees[1, 11], growing well in a woodland and in the rock garden[1, 200]. Plants can be difficult to establish[188], though they can become invasive once they are well established[238]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. A clumping mat former. Forming a dense prostrate carpet spreading indefinitely [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2]. The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - it germinates better if given 3 months cold stratification and so it is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[113]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Make sure that all the fruit pulp is removed from the seed because it contains germination inhibitors[113]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division of naturally layered stems in the spring[200]. Cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Britain, Canada, Europe, Guatemala, Japan, North America, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Mitchella undulata Perennial0.1 5-9  LMSNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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