Yet another underused native plant, although it’s evergreen trailing habit recommends it as an excellent groundcover for shade and part-shade locations. Interesting pairs of white tubular, fragrant flowers, fused together at the base, which are followed by 2-lobed scarlet berries, consumed by a variety of birds and mammals.
Medicinal uses: the Partridge berries and also the infusion of roots and twigs were used traditionally by the native tribes as a women’s herb, aiding in menstrual complaints and childbirth. Today it is still recommended by practitioners of modern herbal medicine in the same way.
Great groundcover plant for the shady side of the rockery; it also performed well in my ‘woodland’ container close by Hepatica americana, with which associates often in the forest.
Germination: sown in the fall or after cold-moist stratification (2-3 months) in the spring. Slow to germinate; keep your pots, it can germinate in the second year after sowing.