Mitchella repens; Rubiaceae (madder family)
As you may have gathered, I’m particularly fond of tiny flowers, and flowers that hide, and small plants. And rocks. And lichens.
Two days ago I went straight from the car to a huge patch of partridgeberry growing atop some rocks near Carderock, hoping to find it blooming. I was not disappointed.
Partirdgeberry is a very low-growing plant (one inch tall) with evergreen leaves about the size of a pinkie nail. It seems to prefer growing in slight amounts of soil on top of rocks, and can trail along or off the rocks for several feet. It always blooms in pairs. If both flowers are pollinated, they will fuse together to form a single fruit. This picture shows almost everything: two pairs of buds, one pair of flowers, and two pairs of flowers starting to fuse:
Would you believe I spent more than 15 minutes taking more than 50 pictures of this plant?