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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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rich, moist, sometimes limey, soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: 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.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Mitella diphylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mitella diphylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mitella diphylla
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff