June 1, 2021

partridge berry

Diana Foster

Diana Foster sent me this photo of a patch of Partridge Berry growing at Ivy Creek.  Partridge Berry is a beautiful and fascinating little flower.  The flowers appear in the spring and always in pairs.  They are dimorphous (those who took the May wildflower walk will remember that Tana talked about bluets also being dimorphous) which means they occur in two distinct forms.  In one form the flowers have a short pistil and long stamens.  In the other form the stamens are short and the pistil long.  This ensures that the flower does not self-pollinate.  Here is a link to a U.S. Forest Service webpage describing how the pollinated flower pairs fuse ovaries to create the red berry we see later in the year, including an image of these berries where you can see the two red dots that indicate this fusion.  

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