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Out in the woods

Sanguinaria capsules were not ready to collect as I thought, but  everything looks green and lush which is very good news after last year’s terrible drought. Medeola, Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), Cornus rugosa and Viburnum acerifolium were flowering; Lonicera canadensis berries were beckoning in the filtered shade and Mitella seeds were ready, waiting in their little cups. About Mitella I knew because I have it in the garden ;)

Mitella diphylla – Two-leaved bishop’s mitre; combines beautifully with Uvularia (in the background), Trillium, Thalictrum dioicum, Hepatica and many other species which like part-shade locations.

It has been added on the Canada 150 Celebration list sale! 

Snowflakes by design: Mitella diphylla

Myriads of Mitella diphylla flowers are still falling from the sky. I noticed that not too many people are familiar with this dainty North American woodlander; what a pity…

It can be found in deciduous woodlands in part shaded areas, most often at the edges of the forest; easily noticeable despite its small flowers, it will flower somewhere at the beginning of May. A better timetable is to consider that it flowers at the same time with Trillium grandiflorum, Uvularia grandiflora and Coptis trifolia.

Mitella diphylla, Two-leaved bishop’s cap (Fam. Saxifragaceae) – Tall flowering stems carrying small, fringed, snowflakes shaped flowers above a pair of leaves. Fruits are dehiscent capsules with many small, black seeds.

Mitella is not an easy subject to capture on camera

What I like even more about it is that the basal leaves are evergreen; a most useful character in our climate with long flowerless periods. I cannot take a picture in the garden right now, but I have one from the previous garden showing it together with Cyclamen hederifolium and Hepatica in late November.

Mitella diphylla, Cyclamen and Hepatica foliage in November

Propagation: easy from seeds (sown in the fall) and mine has started to flower in the third year. After it gets established it can also be divided (it forms a rather tight clump so there is no worry about potential invasiveness).

Mitella diphylla seeds

The genus name Mitella comes from the Greek ‘mitra’= cap and the common name bishop’s cap or mitrewort refers to the cap-shaped fruit.

A perfect – woodland – day

If I leave aside the heat, the endless road constructions/detours and the million mosquitos hungrily awaiting into the woods, yesterday was quite a perfect day. The first seeds of the season were collected and a new, nice Trientalis borealis population has been found.

Really perfect; only that I had to keep reciting Issa’s haiku.

What good luck!
Bitten by
this year's mosquitoes too.

The bright Northern Starflowers (Trientalis), delicate Mitella, the elegant, stylish Medeola, columbines, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), showy orchids….

What good luck!