Mitella diphylla (Two-leaf Miterwort)
|Also known as:
|part shade, shade; rich woods
|April - June
|10 to 18 inches
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
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Short-stalked flowers are widely spaced in a spike-like raceme up to 12 inches long at the tip of the stem. Individual flowers are about 1/8 inch across and have 5 white feathery or fringed petals that curve back. In the center is a ring of 10 yellow-tipped stamens. The calyx is cup-shaped, pale green to yellowish with 5 triangular lobes. The calyx and flower stalks are covered in short, glandular hairs.
Leaves and stem:
A single pair of opposite leaves is on the stem below the flower cluster, and is where the “two-leaf” common name originates. These leaves are up to 2½ inches long and 1½ inches wide, coarsely toothed and usually shallowly lobed in 3 parts. It may appear that the leaves are joined around the stem, but they are not.
There are also basal leaves that are more heart-shaped, up to 4 inches long and 3 inches wide, on long stalks, often with 5 shallow lobes. All leaves are finely hairy. Stems are multiple from the base and densely covered in short hairs.
This delicate beauty is one of the woodland spring ephemerals that grace Minnesota starting in April. It makes a wonderful shade garden plant.
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- Two-leaf Miterwort plants
- Two-leaf Miterwort habitat
- Two-leaf Miterwort on moss-covered rock
- Two-leaf Miterwort with Wild Ginger and Bulblet Fern
- garden-grown Two-leaf Miterwort
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Goodhue County and in a private garden in Ramsey County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?