Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.
Partridgeberry (Michella repens) is a perennial, evergreen vine that creeps along the forest floor, brightening it with both its white flowers as well as its red berries. The flowers of partridgeberry usually occur in pairs, with the ovaries of the two flowers fused, so that only one fruit develops from two flowers (both flowers must be pollinated in order for one fruit to form). If you look closely, you can see two dots on each scarlet berry, indicating the fusion of two flowers. Because the berries have a low fat content, they resist rotting and persist through the winter, providing a food source for ruffed grouse (hence, its common name), foxes, raccoons and deer. Although they don’t have much flavor, the fruit of partridgeberry can be eaten by humans – you can sometimes detect a hint of wintergreen.