Name: Mitchella repens aka partridge berry
Type of Plant: A low-growing, evergreen native perennial that is hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
Why I Love This Plant: When you can find a very low growing plant that’s evergreen, thrives in shade, and is native to North America, well, you have to love it! And when it does well without any fussing, or much water, that’s just a bonus. I planted one of these several years ago in an area where I don’t do anything much and it’s spread beautifully and become a lovely ground cover under large oak trees.
This plant flowers in early summer, and the blooms are fragrant although you’d have to lay down on the ground next to them in order to fully detect their perfume. The red berries are edible, but tiny so probably best left for the wildlife that appreciates small fruit.
A Word to the Wise: This isn’t an easy plant to find! I hope that nurseries that take an interest in native plants might decide to grow more of this.