Cornus canadensis L. - Bunchberry


 

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Cornus canadensis - (image 1 of 7)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Cornaceae

Habitat

Moist acid woodlands and bogs.

Associates

Acer rubrum, Aralia nudicaulis, Betula alleghaniensis, Dryopteris intermedia, Gaultheria procumbens, Larix laricina, Lindera benzoin, Maianthemum canadense, Nyssa sylvatica.

Distribution

Greenland west to AK and eastern Asia, south to NJ, PA, IN, and MN, and in mountains to MD, WV, VA, and CA.

Morphology

Low herbaceous plant to 20 cm, emerging from a creeping rootstock. Primary leaves 4-6, opposite but apparently whorled, ovate to lanceolate, acuminate, with one or two pairs of reduced, scale-like leaves below main "whorl". Flowers tiny, green, clustered, surrounded by 4 showy, white, petal-like bracts. Fruit a red drupe, several in a tight cluster above the leaves.     

Notes

Flowers late May to late June

Wetland indicator: Facultative

Ornamental in several respects. The leaves change to various colors streaked with red-purple in the fall. Makes a good groundcover in moist, acid soil.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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 Michael Hough 2004