Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

partridge berry 2

Partridgeberry is an evergreen perennial that is indigenous to the eastern United States. It is a low growing ground cover that will fill in completely in a woodland setting.   Usually it will spread by runners that are 12 inches long and produces a fragrant white blossoms on the end of its runners.    It will take two blossoms to produce one berry in midsummer which is why it is sometimes called Twinberry.

The Cherokee had over 10 different uses for Mitchella repens.   A tea was made as an analgesic for monthly cramps; it was boiled in new milk for dysentery; as an aid in childbirth; root tea with rattlesnake weed for bowel complaints; it was given to newborns to encourage breast feeding; a tea was also given for hives and sore nipples.

Partridgeberry is one of our favorite native ground covers and is very adaptable to many different soils but will struggle during drought conditions unless given supplemental water.    Once it is established it is very hardy.    The first year it was planted in our garden it did not appear to be growing, however it doubled in size the second year.  We have it dapple sunlight.    Here again it is another great native plant for ground feeding birds.


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