125 W Melvina St Ste 1, Milwaukee, WI 53212 | 414.272.0242

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Plant of the Week: Mitchella repens

Plant of the Week! By this time in the season, a lot of people are craving sunshine and green plants. This is when evergreen Mitchella repens, Partridgeberry, shines. A trailing vine, Partridgeberry stretches along the ground, putting down roots as it grows. It is a beautiful groundcover with hearty, glossy emerald leaves that have a contrasting, pale midrib. Its beautiful red berries persist through winter, provided they aren’t eaten by grouse, raccoons or red foxes first. The berries are unique in that it takes two separate flowers to produce a single fruit. These flowers are dystylous, meaning there are two forms: one with a short pistil and long stamens, and the other with a long pistil and short stamens. This prevents the plant from fertilizing itself. Once both flowers are fertilized, the ovaries fuse to form a fruit. Although this plant naturally grows in acidic environments, it can be grown in neutral to alkaline garden soil provided it’s moist, well-drained, and in a shady location.

 

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