Partridgeberry, Mitchella repens

Classifying Partridgeberry is challenge, it may be called a woody herb, an evergreen, perennial, woody herb, or creeping prostrate herbaceous woody shrub.

It is a ground hugging, delicate vine. It is found naturally in forests, stream-banks, on rotten logs, and in bottomlands and other wet habitats. It can survive even under layers of decaying leaves or a mass of poison ivy or Japanese Honeysuckle. In the woods I uncover it when removing the undesirables layered above it. The stems run along the ground in a vine-like fashion often carpeting an area. White, sometimes pinkish, flowers mature in summer and it produces a shiny, red berry with a tiny dimple and star-shaped marks.

This evergreen ground cover is not aggressive and is easily removed or moved.

Plant in woodland/shade gardens, under trees, in part shade areas, and is best grown in smaller sites.

The paired flowers need to cross-pollinate for a berry to develop. Photo K. Mulcahy

Photo K. Mulcahy

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.