Mitchella repens

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Mitchella repens
Mitchella repens KDSP.jpg
Photo by Katelin Pearson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Rubiales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Mitchella
Species: D. repens
Binomial name
Mitchella repens
Mitchella repens dist.JPG
Natural range of Mitchella repens from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: partridge-berry[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: none[1]



M. repens ranges from Novia Scotia, west to Minnesota, and south to central peninsular Florida and Texas. There are disjunct populations in Guatemala.[1]



M. repens has been found in mesic hardwoods, pinewoods, floodplains, streambanks, Beech-magnolia woods, live oak groves, bogs, and swamps.[2] It is also found in disturbed areas including along fire breaks, railroads, and roadsides.[2] Associated species: Pinus strobus, Acer saccharum, A. rubrum, Betula lenta, Fraxinus americana, Quercus rubra, Fagus grandifolia, Acer pensylvanicum, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Athyrium angustum, Tiarella cordifolia, and Polygonatum biflorum.[3] M. repens is found in deciduous and coniferous forests, streambanks, heath balds, maritime forests, rotten logs and hummocks, and in bottomlands or other wetland habitats. The plants in maritime forests are more robust than others and often have an ascending habit, the stems sometimes 20-30 cm tall.[1]


M. repens is an evergreen, but flowers from May through July and flowers from June through July.[1]

Fire ecology

Populations of Mitchella repens have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[4]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Historically, a tea from this plant was used in treating insomnia, water retention, and diarrhea, and it was an aid in childbirth.[5]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Florida State University Herbarium Database. URL: Last accessed: June 2021. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, K. Craddock Burks, Patricia Elliot, J. P. Gillespie, and R.K. Godfrey. States and counties: Florida: Jefferson, Levy, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla.
  3. Brown University Herbarium accessed using Southeastern Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) data portal. URL: Last accessed: June 2021. Collectors: Sophie Duncan, Andrew Pisaturo, and Timothy J. S. Whitfeld. States and Counties: Massachusetts: Berkshire.
  4. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  5. Korchmal, Arnold & Connie. 1973. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of the United States. The New York Times Book Company, New York.