Bishop’s Cap Flower – Bishop’s Caps (mitella diphylla) are gorgeous snow-flake shaped wildflower that I’ve photographed several occasions in Tennessee. A member of the Saxifrage family, this delicate flower is also known as miterwort – both common names derive from the flower’s resemblance to the hats worn by bishops. The Latin name – mitella diphylla – refers to both a cap (mitella) and the plant’s two leaves (diphylla).
Native to most of the Eastern United States and Canada, Bishop’s Cap is an spring blooming wildflower. It prefers to develop in rich moist woods and along stream banks. They develop up to 16″ tall with several little ( 1/8 inch across) flowers on every single stalk. A pair of heart shaped, three-lobed leaves grows halfway up the stalk.
Native Americans found many uses for Bishop’s Cap. The Iroquois utilized a decoction of the complete plants taken to vomit and as a wash counteract bad luck and an infusion of the plant as drops for sore eyes. The Menominee used the plant in sacred ceremonies.