Partridgeberry Mitchella repens

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
partridge berry


The plant commonly known as partridgeberry is a low-growing perennial native to North America. It features a mat-forming habit with trailing stems that are adorned with small, rounded leaves. The leaves are glossy, dark green, and often have a subtle pale vein running down the middle. During the blooming season, the plant produces pairs of small, fragrant white flowers that have a tubular shape with four petals each. These blooms are quite dainty and attractive. After flowering, the plant forms bright red berries, which are a distinctive feature of partridgeberry. The berries are small, with a smooth surface and typically remain on the plant throughout the winter. These fruits are not only visually appealing but also provide a source of food for wildlife. The overall appearance of partridgeberry is that of a charming groundcover, with its evergreen leaves offering a year-round visual interest in shaded garden spaces or woodland areas.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Partridgeberry, Squaw Vine, Two-eyed Berry, Running Box, Twinberry, Deerberry, Winter Clover, One-berry.

    • Common names

      Mitchella repens.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Partridgeberry is generally considered non-toxic to humans, and there are no significant reports of poisoning from ingestion of this plant. It has even been used traditionally in small amounts for various herbal remedies. However, consuming any plant material in large amounts could potentially cause gastrointestinal discomfort due to the presence of tannins and other plant compounds.

    • To pets

      Partridgeberry is also generally considered non-toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. There is no significant evidence suggesting that ingestion of Partridgeberry leads to poisoning in pets. Just as with humans, eating large amounts might cause mild gastrointestinal upset, but this is not commonly reported. It's always prudent to monitor pets if they ingest plant material and to consult with a veterinarian if any unusual symptoms occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Utilization: Partridgeberry serves as an excellent ground cover due to its low-growing, creeping nature and evergreen leaves which provide year-round greenery.
    • Erosion Control: Partridgeberry's dense matting can help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, particularly in shady areas under trees or on slopes.
    • Wildlife Habitat: It offers shelter and nesting materials for small animals and insects, playing an important role in local ecosystems.
    • Edible Fruit: Partridgeberry produces small, red berries that, while not as popular in human cuisine, are a source of food for birds and small mammals.
    • Ornamental Value: With its small, white flowers that turn into bright red berries, Partridgeberry is valued for its ornamental appeal in gardens and natural landscapes.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Partridgeberry requires minimal care, making it a good plant for gardeners seeking low-maintenance landscaping options.
    • Shade Tolerance: Partridgeberry thrives in shaded environments where many other plants struggle, making it ideal for woodland gardens and shady areas.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Diuretic: Mitchella repens, commonly known as partridgeberry, has traditionally been used to help promote the release of urine.
    • Astringent: The plant has been used for its potential to constrict tissues and reduce secretions and discharges.
    • Tonic: Partridgeberry has been considered a general tonic, possibly helping to strengthen and energize the body.
    • Parturient: It has been used by some to facilitate childbirth and strengthen the uterus.
    • Antispasmodic: The plant may help alleviate spasms or cramps within the body.
    • Galactagogue: Traditionally, partridgeberry has been used to help increase the production of breast milk in lactating women.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ground Cover: Partridgeberry is often used as a decorative ground cover in gardens and landscaping because of its evergreen leaves and attractive red berries.
    • Basketry: The vine-like stems of partridgeberry can be woven into small baskets and other decorative items by skilled crafters.
    • Floral Arrangements: The berries and foliage of partridgeberry make a delicate addition to winter floral arrangements and wreaths.
    • Wildlife Food: The berries serve as a source of food for birds and small mammals, especially in winter when food is scarce.
    • Soil Erosion Control: Partridgeberry, with its mat-forming growth habit, helps prevent soil erosion in shady, wooded areas.
    • Fairy Gardens: Its small scale and creeping form make partridgeberry an ideal plant for creating whimsical fairy gardens.
    • Education: Partridgeberry provides an opportunity for educational study related to botany, ecology, and the coevolution of plants and pollinators.
    • Photography: The attractive flowers and berries, along with their woodland settings, make partridgeberry plants a popular subject for nature photographers.
    • Trail Marking: Because of its distinctive appearance, partridgeberry can be used informal trail marking within gardens and conservation areas.
    • Natural Dye: Though not common, the berries can potentially be used to produce a natural dye for fabrics or crafts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Partridgeberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Partridgeberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Unity and connection: Since Mitchella repens, commonly known as partridgeberry, has twin flowers that fuse into one fruit, it symbolizes the coming together of two entities into one harmonious whole.
    • Love and affection: Partridgeberry is often associated with love, perhaps due to its red berries that could be reminiscent of little hearts.
    • Good luck in marriage: The plant's historical use in wedding ceremonies ties it to the concept of matrimonial happiness and success.
    • Nurturing and care: As a groundcover, partridgeberry provides protection and support to the ecosystem, representing nurturing and the careful tending of relationships.
    • Growth and fertility: The fruiting nature of the plant along with its evergreen leaves suggest associations with continuous growth and fertility.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Partridgeberry should be watered regularly, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant with approximately 1/4 gallon of water every week during active growth in spring and summer. In the fall and winter, reduce watering to once every two weeks, allowing the soil to slightly dry out between waterings. Always check the top inch of the soil for dryness before watering again. Use a watering can to gently water the soil at the base of the plant to avoid splashing the foliage.

  • sunLight

    Partridgeberry thrives in partial to full shade conditions, making it ideal for woodland gardens or as a groundcover under larger shrubs and trees. The best spot for this plant would be an area that receives filtered sunlight or shade for most of the day, protecting it from the harsh afternoon sun which can scorch its leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Partridgeberry is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, typically from 60°F to 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to around 10°F, making it suitable for USDA zones 3-9. Avoid placing the partridgeberry in locations that experience extreme heat, as this may stress the plant and affect its growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning partridgeberry is not often necessary since it is a low-growing groundcover. However, to maintain shape or remove any damaged foliage, light pruning can be done in early spring before new growth starts. It rarely needs extensive cutting back; simply trim to keep the desired shape or to remove dead or damaged stems. The best time for any necessary pruning is in the spring.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Partridgeberry thrives in organic-rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of around 5.0 to 7.0. A good soil mix consists of equal parts peat, coarse sand, and leaf mold or fine pine bark to ensure proper drainage and aeration.

  • plantRepotting

    Partridgeberry, being a slow-growing ground cover, does not require frequent repotting. Repot every 2-3 years or when it has outgrown its current container to allow for healthy growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Partridgeberry prefers moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50-70%. To maintain these conditions, it can benefit from being placed in a naturally humid environment or by using a humidity tray.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep Partridgeberry in shaded area with indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Partridgeberry in shaded, moist areas outside.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) begins its life cycle with seed germination, often helped by the involvement of mycorrhizal fungi, which occurs in warm, moist soil conditions and can take many months due to the seed's hard coat. The seedlings develop into low-growing, evergreen, perennial plants that spread horizontally through rhizomes. Vegetative growth includes the formation of opposite, rounded leaves, and during the productive stage, white, fragrant flowers with a fused double structure appear in late spring or early summer, which are pollinated primarily by insects. Following pollination, Partridgeberry produces a bright red berry that contains the seeds for the next generation; each berry often contains two seeds due to the plant's unique twin flowers. The berry is consumed by wildlife, aiding in seed dispersal. Over several seasons, the plant expands to form a dense mat, which constitutes its mature growth phase, and this process can continue indefinitely in favorable conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Mitchella repens, commonly known as partridgeberry, is best propagated through division, which is typically done in the spring. To propagate by division, carefully dig up an established partridgeberry plant, making sure to keep a substantial amount of roots attached. Then, gently separate the plant into smaller sections, each with several stems and a healthy root system. These divisions can then be replanted in a moist, well-drained soil, ideally with some shade to mimic the plant's natural understory habitat. Care should be taken to plant the divisions at the same depth they were originally growing and to water them regularly until they are established.