Welcome to the West GA Chapter
The chapter was formed by a group of native plant enthusiasts, in September 2008, to serve the people in the western counties of the North Georgia piedmont.
You are invited to join us at our meetings, which are open to the public, and are held in the Carrollton Ag Center. Check out the Meetings & Activities page (link in the navigation bar, to the left) for meeting dates and to learn about other activities.
Please Note: Due to GPS issues, regarding the location of the Ag Center, please check the above link for accurate directions.
You are Visitor 459 since January 1, 2018
( Mitchella repens )
Partridge Berry, taken on January 13, 2005.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland
What about a pretty plant that is somewhat of a curiosity? Check into Mitchella repens, also called Partridge Berry. This is a vine but it is a prostate grower instead of climbing. It also is quite tolerant of soil conditions from moist to quite dry as long as it is in shade or partial shade. Established plantings are quite tolerant of drought; a good watering within 2 days of wilting provides a surprising comeback. Natively you will find Partridge Berry growing best under conifers such as pines and hemlocks where the needles do not produce as heavy a leaf cover as do deciduous trees. In fact, this preferred needle vs leaf habitat is one reason that places Mitchella repens on the endangered plant list due to its heavy presence in hemlock forests that are beginning to die from environmental pressures. The other reason is that it has been wild-harvested too much for decorations during the winter holiday season due to its tidy, dainty, unique oval to round, glossy, dark evergreen leaves (to three quarters inch long) with whitish veins appearing in pairs along the stems. The red berry has a low fat content allowing it to resist decay and persist longer on this lovely vine for wildlife to enjoy.
Common uses for this plant include: This tiny groundcover is sensitive to ground disturbance and best sited in an area that has shade to partial shade. Although it does not need a wet environment, moisture is important especially while getting established. Drainage is also important so more of a woodland environment or a shaded rock garden is preferred to planting right at water or an area that remains wet. The plant co-exists well with shrubs and other larger plants as long as it can get dappled shade. Not an aggressive grower, Mitchella repens covers a small space beautifully; it is not considered appropriate for a large area. Be sure to plant where you can enjoy the lovely evergreen leaves, the white flowers, and then the long lasting red berries. Naturalizes nicely with other shade-loving natives. Morning sun is often okay.