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Miterwort Flowering

Miterwort (Mitella diphylla), also known as Bishop’s–cap, is named for the resemblance of its seed capsules to the hats (known as miters) worn by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. If you examine a flower closely, you will see its delicate, 5-pointed, snowflake-like design. Each tiny flower is in the shape of a small cup, with dissected petals arising from the rim of the cup, resembling fine lacework. There is a glandular ring of nectar-producing tissue inside the cup which attracts small bees, flies and ants.

Once pollinated, the flowers produce open seed-containing capsules. Water, not animals, is the dispersal agent for Miterwort’s seeds. The capsules orient themselves so that their opening faces upward. When it rains, the falling rain drops splash the seeds out of the capsules, dispersing them up to three feet away from the parent plant.

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8 responses

  1. Wanda Rice

    Hi Mary, Ever hear of cedar waxwings eating flower petals? There are 4 in my crab apple tree and they are definitely eating the flower petals. Pretty interesting!

    Wanda Rice, subscriber

    On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 8:04 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: “Miterwort (Mitella diphylla), also known as > Bishop’s–cap, is named for the resemblance of its seed capsules to the hats > (known as miters) worn by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. If you > examine a flower closely, you will see its delicate, 5-pointed, ” >

    May 20, 2020 at 8:20 am

  2. Alice

    My first thought: “a snowflake flower!”, then I read your post. Very interesting plant. Nature is so amazing!

    May 20, 2020 at 8:26 am

  3. kathiefive

    Lovely, Mary.

    May 20, 2020 at 9:26 am

  4. Dennis Smith

    Mitre correct spelling of hat, Miter correct spelling for common name

    May 20, 2020 at 11:57 am

  5. Rachael Shaw

    Always love your posts Mary! What makes the sound I often hear in the woods (I think low to the ground) that sounds like a constant clucking of a chicken type bird…sounds like it could be maybe grouse or turkey but I don’t know what is trying to draw attention to itself, or possibly distract from its young?? Warm regards, Rachael

    >

    May 20, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    • Hi Rachel,
      My guess is you’re hearing a chipmunk!

      May 20, 2020 at 7:17 pm

  6. Diane Alexander

    A happy birthday plant! Delicate and functional.

    May 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm

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