Mitella nuda

Naked Mitrewort

Naked Mitrewort, Photo courtesy Wisconsin State Herbarium and Andrew Meeks
Naked Mitrewort
Photo courtesy Wisconsin State Herbarium
and Andrew Meeks

Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...
The natural history of the northwoods


  • Mitella, from the Latin
  • nuda, from the Latin, nudus, "bare, naked".
  • The common and Latin names come from the diminutive of mitra, which means 'cap' or 'mitre'. Presumably the seed capsule was thought to resemble a bishop's mitre, though one reference suggests that it looks more like 'a tattered French-Canadian toque'! The species name, nuda, means 'naked' in reference to the bare stem.
  • Common name from
  • Other common names include Bishop's Cap, Naked Bishop's Cap, Small Bishop's Cap, Bare-stemmed Mitrewort, Stoloniferous Mitrewort


  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons 
      • Subclass Rosidae
        • Order Rosales 
          • Family Saxifragaceae, the Saxifrages
            • Genus Mitella, the Mitreworts 
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 24410
  • Also known as


  • A ¼, ½, ¾, º, é
  • blooms May-Jun.; plant 6"-12"
  • Leaves
  • Stem
  • Roots
  • Flowers
    • Sepals
    • Petals
    • Stamens
    • Pistils
    • Ovary superior (within blossom) inferior (below flower)
  • Fruit
  • Seed
  • Small rhizomatous and often stoloniferous perennial with scapes 0.7-2.5 dm tall, glandular-pubescent especially upward. Leaves all basal or with 1 sessile or short-petioled leaf below the middle on the scape; blades rotund-cordate to reniform, 1-3.5 cm across, sparingly hirsute at least on the upper surface, crenate on the margin; petioles mostly 2-9 cm long; stipules brownish, ovate, 2-4 mm long. Flowers small, greenish, in racemes of 3-12 flowers; sepals ovate, 1-2 mm long; petals green, pinnately divided into usually 4 pairs of filiform segments, 2-4 mm long; stamens 10; pistil 2-carpellary, stigmas 2, on short divergent styles, ovary ca. 1/2 inferior or less; hypanthium saucer-shaped; pedicels 1-6 mm long. Capsules splitting open widely, the seeds rather few, black, shiny, ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm long. Jun--Jul. Bogs and swamps, often growing among mosses; rare, with records from Bottineau and Pembina Counties, ND; (Labr. to AK, s to PA, MI, MN, ND, MT and WA; also e Asia).
  • General - a small perennial, with long, slender, creeping rhizomes (often stolon-like); stems erect, 3 - 20 cm tall, with fine gland-tipped hairs, usually leafless.

    Leaves - at stem base, few, long-stalked, ehart-shaped to kidney-shaped, 2 - 5 cm across, round-toothed, with scattered, stiffly erect hairs above.

    Flowers - in few-flowered clusters (spikes) at stem tips, greenish yellow, small, saucer-shaped, inconspicuous; petals divided into 4 pairs of thread-like lobes (like television antenna); 10 stamens; appearing in early-summer.

    Fruit - capsules, 2 - 3 mm long, open widely into shallow cups; seeds shiny, black; ripening in late-summer.

  • Small flowers with deeply incised petals in a loose cluster along flower stems. Flowers appear in early June. Leaves are basal, round toothed, with stiff hairs rising straight up (perpendicular) from the leaf surface.
  • usually stoloniferous, leaves cordate to reniform, 1-3cm long, bicrenate, adaxially sparsely hirsute, raceme 3-12- flowered, petals 4mm, laciniate
  • Small, woodland perennial. Heart-shaped leaves have a few rounded teeth. Few flowers, greenish-yellow.


  • Identifiable as
  • Distinguished from
  • Field Marks


  • Alaska to Newfoundland,
  • Labrador to Alaska, south to Pennsylvania and Minnesota; Asia.


  • Beech Forest; Boreal Forest; Northern Lowland Forest; Northern Upland Forest; Southern Lowland Forest
  • White Cedar Swamp
  • Moist forests, thickets, and streambanks; widespread across our region, north to southern N.W.T. and southern Yukon.
  • Wooded swamps, mossy thickets, rich woods



  • Trees:
  • Shrubs:
  • Herbs:
  • Ground Covers:
  • Mammals:
  • Birds:




  • Sexually by seed
  • Flowers
  • Assexually by


  • seed in winter
    cuttings in late summer; root cuttings in spring


  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)Hardy to zone 1.

    Tiny things, height of 3" to 8"", width of 1".

  • Cultural Requirements
    • Light:
    • Soil:
    • Water:
    • Spacing:
    • Fertilization:
  • Size 12"-18"W x 12"-18"H
  • Growth rate
  • Good for
  • cool, shady site with a humous, moist soil
    alpine house, moist, humous soil, shade
  • Cultivars and species available by mail order from specialty suppliers or at local nurseries



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Last Updated on 7 November, 2002