Adirondack Wildflowers:  Partridgeberry at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 June 2012)

Adirondack Wildflowers:
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

Adirondack Wildflowers:   Partridgeberry at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 June 2012) Adirondack Wildflowers: Partridgeberry at the Paul Smiths VIC(30 June 2012)

Partridgeberry is a trailing, evergreen herb which grows in dry to moist woods in the Adirondack Mountains. The tiny white flowers are fragrant and usually grow in terminal pairs, up to 1/2 inches long, with four petal-like lobes. The delicate, fuzzy flowers are followed by bright red berries. The evergreen leaves are rather glossy, with prominent whitish green veins.

The common name -- Partridgeberry -- is apparently a reference to the belief that the berries are relished by partridges. Although the fruits are reportedly eaten by Ruffed Grouse and Quail, there is no evidence that the plant is of great importance to wildlife. Partridgeberry is also known as Twinberry, Deer Berry, Checkerberry, Squaw Berry, and Running Box. Partridgeberry grows throughout the northeast, from Newfoundland to Florida, west to Texas and Minnesota.

The berries reportedly are edible, but are said to be nearly tasteless. Tea made from Partridgeberry leaves was used by several North American Indian tribes as an aid in childbirth. The plant was also used to treat medical ailments, such as insomnia, fever, rheumatic pain, back pain, and convulsions.

Adirondack Wildflowers:  Partridgeberry blooming on the Boreal Life Trail at the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) Adirondack Wildflowers: Partridgeberry blooming on the Boreal Life Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC

Partridgeberry can be seen on the Boreal Life Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC. The plant usually starts blooming in mid- to late June at the VIC.

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Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.