Mitchella repens L.
Family: Rubiaceae
Mitchella repens image
Paul Rothrock  
Perennial herb, evergreen, mat-forming 10 - 30 cm tall Stem: creeping and rooting at the nodes. Leaves: opposite, stalked, shiny, whitish-veined, 1 - 2 cm long, rounded to egg-shaped. Flowers: mostly terminal, paired, white, 1 - 1.4 cm long, funnel-shaped, bearded within, with four (sometimes three, five, or six) short, spreading lobes. Style one, stigmas four. Fruit: a berry, red, 5 - 8 mm wide, with two side-by-side dimples. Seeds eight.

Similar species: No information at this time.

Flowering: late May to early September

Habitat and ecology: Local in acid woodlands, and often found in swampy forests where rotted logs have formed hummocks, upon which this plant grows. Has also been found on old dune slopes and in mesic woods.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Mitchella is named after Dr. John Mitchell (1680-1768), a colonial botanist, physician, and scientist from Virginia. Repens means creeping.

Author: The Morton Arboretum

From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
In all parts of the state where there are areas of slightly acid soil. I have never seen it associated with lime loving plants. The map covers the area of all of the reports except one in Lake County where its habitat occurs. It is usually found in low, flat sweet gum and beech woods, on the crests and slopes of sandstone ridges, and in the black sand of black and pin oak woods of the northern part of the state.


Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 8

Wetland Indicator Status: FACU

Stems rooting at the nodes, 1-3 dm, forming mats; lvs petioled, round-ovate, 1-2 cm; fls mostly terminal, the common peduncle shorter than the subtending lvs; cor 10-14 mm occasionally with 3, 5, or 6 lobes; fr insipid, 5-8 mm thick, crowned with the short sep; 2n=22. Woods; N.S. to Ont. and Minn., s. to Fla. and Tex. May-July.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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