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Miterwort Flowering

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Miterwort (Mitella diphylla), also called Bishop’s Cap, is named for the resemblance of its two-peaked fruits to the hats (known as miters) worn by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.  This spring wildflower produces miniature five-pointed snowflake flowers that beg to be examined with a hand lens.

Gnats, small bees and syrphid flies all seek out Miterwort for its nectar. Because its nectaries are located just below the stamens, the flower is pollinated by the mouthparts of the pollinators which brush against the stamens when collecting nectar and the inadvertently-gathered pollen is transported to other Miterworts.  Predators such as the Goldenrod Crab Spider (pictured) know that potential meals are plentiful near these delicate flowers.

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3 responses

  1. Fantastic photos, Mary. My favorite New England wildflower, I first met and photographed it in W. Brattleboro, VT in 1975. Its snowflake blossom portrait hung on my grandparent’s and then my aunt’s living room wall until it was returned to me last year after her passing. It’s easily overlooked, as you say, unless we move in close with a magnifier loop or macro lens.

    May 17, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  2. So glad you are also an admirer of this wildflower – it’s truly amazing, isn’t it?

    May 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm

  3. What an opportunist! Great capture, Mary.

    May 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm

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