The Beauty of Partridgeberries
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), otherwise known as twinberry or pigeon plum, is a creeping perennial known for its beautiful pairs of white, cruciferous flowers and small red berries. The fruit that the plant produces is edible and, as the name suggests, is regularly eaten by partridges and other birds and animals. While the berries have relatively little flavor, they are reported to have some health benefits and have been used in Native American medicine.
Partridgeberry is native to the eastern United States and Canada and is most commonly found within forests, growing in places with limited sunlight or even in complete shade. The flowers tend to form around early spring or summer, and the fruit is known to last through the colder months into the following spring.
Because of its hardiness in the cold and capacity to grow in shady areas, partridgeberry is a perfect plant to grow in the winter. Propagating the plant, however, can be very difficult to do from seed, so most gardeners recommend using already established plants.
The Partridgeberry Aesthetic Benefits and plant grows low to the ground, generally reaching no taller than 2 inches, and grows well as a ground cover in shaded areas. It also produces vines that will creep along the ground as it grows but will not climb.
The plant leaves are rounded and grow to produce thick mats of a beautiful deep green.
Once established, partridgeberry needs relatively little maintenance, although it does need moisture to survive and can be sensitive to drought.
The beautiful colors of this plant and its capacity to grow through the winter make it a must-have for those interested in keeping their yard or garden beautiful and productive year-round.