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Mitella diphylla (Twoleaf miterwort)
Smith, R.W.

Mitella diphylla

Mitella diphylla L.

Twoleaf Miterwort, Miterwort

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Synonym(s): Mitella oppositifolia

USDA Symbol: MIDI3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A slender, elongated cluster of tiny white flowers, with 5 delicately fringed petals, above 1 pair of stalkless leaves at midstem; other leaves basal. Delicate plant with basal, heart-shaped, hairy stemmed leaves and a pair of similar, but stemless, leaves two-thirds up the flower stalk. Sparse spike of minute, white, fringed flowers.

The flower is a fantastic bit of geometry, especially evident when viewed with a hand lens. The single pair of leaves at midstem accounts for the species name. The common and genus names allude to the fruit, which has the shape of a small cap or bishop's miter. Naked Miterwort (M. nuda), a lovely smaller species, has only basal leaves and fewer, slightly larger, greenish to yellow flowers; it occurs from Alberta east to Newfoundland, south to Pennsylvania, west to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and northwest to North Dakota.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: S.w. Que. & NH to MN, s. to upland GA,TN & AR
Native Habitat: Rich, wet woods; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rich, moist, sometimes limey, soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Propagation by seed and root or runner division. Fresh seeds sown at soil level germinate fairly well. A light mulch helps retain soil moisture. Seedlings start to bloom the third year. Divide rhizomes that are rooted.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Mitella diphylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mitella diphylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mitella diphylla


Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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