Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Saxifragaceae
Genus Mitella
Species Mitella diphylla
Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort

Date: April 3, 2012. Location: Palasades-Kepler State Park (map)


Scientific Name: Mitella diphylla Mitella is diminutive of mitra [L](cap, turban)—in reference to the shape of the young fruit. diphylla (two leaved) alluding to the two cauline leaves on the floral stem.

Common Name: Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort (miter = cap; wort = plant)

Origin: Native

Notes: BONAP shows two species of Mitella in Iowa—M. dyphylla and M.nutans. M. nutans lacks the two cauline leaves on the flower stem.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: small flowers on short stalks (stipitate), bell-shaped (companulate) with a wide hypanthium (2-3.5 mm), 5 light-green trianglar sepals , 5 petals white and dissected, anthers 10, styles flattened and divergent; inflorescence is a raceme with up to 27 flowers—one per node; fruit capsules serve as splash cups which aid in the dispersal of the dark blackish seeds.

Leaves: basal, petioles with medium and long stipitate glandular hairs; blades ovate, with 3 to 5 lobes or dentate; 2 cauline leaves, opposite or nearly so (subopposite), sessile or subsessile midway on each floral stalk.

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-1 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-2 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-3 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-4 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-5 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-6 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-7 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-8 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-9 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-10 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-11 Bishop's cap, twoleaf miterwort-12