Perhaps one of the most striking features of partridge berry (Mitchella repens), the 2012 VNPS Wildflower of the Year, is its closely paired flowers that yield a single berry fruit (figure 1). That these fruits are double structures, formed by pairs of flowers, is revealed in the presence of two discrete rings of five sepals each on the fruit apex, or in some cases, by a single ring of 10 sepals. Viewed in isolation, without context, the nature of these double fruits may seem perplexing, but as in so many things, a comparative perspective helps to make sense of conundrums such as this one.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2012

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012, Virginia Native Plant Society. This article first appeared in Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society: 31:3 (2012), 5,8.

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.