Sunday, October 25, 2009


I often head out around the lake covering the same territory, about a four mile hike. For this last session I stayed very close to home, hunching down under bushes and crawling through wet leaves. How much beauty and diversity can be found in the tiniest places? I'll try to work on that over the next few posts. :-)

In between Saturday's rainstorms I discovered the little Partridgeberry, Mitchella repens. It was the red berry that first attracted me; I then came upon many more plants, all without berries.

Partridgeberry (I love that name!) is an evergreen creeping (and not climbing) native vine that prefers forest floors, often close to hemlock.

The two dimples on the fruit are the result of two flower ovaries fusing, an interesting habit making for an effective ID property. Why only a few berries among so many vines? Was this a bad year for flowering? Have most fruit already been dined upon?

These Google maps are so cool! I never knew I could embed like this! :-) Okay, here's where I was poking around, from the A marker (that's my place) on up to Elm Street. Do check out the Sat view.


  1. I love partridgeberry; it grows all over here around our lake and we have great patches of it through out our own woods. I have a little tradition around this time of year where by I make a tiny terrarium with one or two partridgeberry plants ( that's all I need- the vine is so long that I can wrap it around inside the bowl several times, giving the impression of a much larger plant). This tiny ecosphere sits on my desk and carries me through the dark days of winter. I've actually had these terrariums last upwards of three to four years and some have even produced blossoms!!

  2. That is such a good thought, Gretchen, to bring in a bit of the living outdoors. I should do something similar here. Although, I do have twigs and pods and cones all about the house. I even bring them to work and place them on my computers!

    Hmm...a terrarium at work would be awesome...

    I'd never noticed Partridgeberry. I must spend more time in my little wood--it's quite a world unto itself. And, it's close to home for when the skies threaten. :-)