[The Genus Mitella in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort

Mitella caulescens

Synonyms: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens

Flower of Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of leafy-stem mitrewort. Photographed in the author's garden, April 5, 2005. Note the purplish base of each of the pinnately divided petals, and that the globular stamens are opposite (lined up with) the greenish, triangular calyx lobes.

Inflorescence of Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)Characteristics:

Leafy-stem mitrewort is stoloniferous perennial with leafy flower stems from 15-30 cm high from a cluster of several basal leaves. The stems are covered with gland-tipped hairs. The leaves are roughly heart-shaped with 3-7 (usually 5) lobes cut about 1/4-1/3 into the blade. The lobes are edged with small, coarse or rounded teeth. The blades are 3-7 cm wide and sparsely covered with coarse hairs on the upper surfaces. The petioles are up to twice as long as the leaf blades. The 1-3 stem leaves are much reduced in size and rarely if ever sessile.

The racemes are elongate and fairly open with up to 25 flowers. The flowers blossom from the top of the stem downward. The greenish calyx is a wide bowl- or bell-shape about 5-6 mm wide. The calyx lobes are widely triangular in shape. The greenish petals may have purple coloration at their bases, and are 3-4 mm long. The individual petals are linear with 4-8 pairs of threadlike fringes along their margins. The 5 stamens are shorter than and opposite to the calyx lobes. The ovary is about 1/2 inferior during bloom.


Habitat:

Leafy-stem mitrewort may be found from the seacoast to middle elevations in the mountains. It may be found in meadows, moist, swampy ground, and in moist shady woods.


Range:

Leafy-stem mitrewort may be found from British Columbia south northwestern California. It may be found eastward to northern and west-central Idaho and northwestern Montana.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations 3600'-4000' between Silver Star Mt., Chinidere Mt., and near the head of Herman Creek.


Flower of Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)

The photo above shows a close-up side view of the "spidery" flower of leafy-stem mitrewort as seen in the author's garden in Gresham, OR.........April 5, 2005.


Inflorescence of Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)

The photo above shows a close-up of the raceme of flowers of leafy-stem mitrewort. Note that the flowers first open at the apex of the stem, then at a later point downward on the stem (The newest flowers are opening at the lowest part of the raceme.).

Basal leaf of Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)

The photo above shows a close-up of the lower leaves of leafy-stem mitrewort.

Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens) - Leafy Mitrewort, Star-shaped Mitrewort, Slightstemmed Miterwort, Star-shaped Mitrewort: Mitella caulescens (Synonym: Mitellastra caulescens, Mitellastrum caulescens)

The photos above show Mitella caulescens from the trail above Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge...........May 1990.

Paul Slichter