Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

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  1.   1.  Description
    1.   1.1  Obtainment
  2.   2.  Uses
  3.   3.  More
  4.   4.  'Souls
Common Name Canadian dwarf cornel, Canadian bunchberry, quatre-temps, crackerberry, creeping dogwood
Latin Name Cornus anadensis
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Bunchberry plants.jpg
By D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work)
Creative Commons License or GNU Documentation Licence
via Wikimedia Commons

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Cornus canadensis, Bunchberry
By Bob Gutowski (flickr.com)
Creative Commons License

1.  Description

Cornus canadensis is a slow-growing herbaceous subshrub growing 10–20 cm tall, generally forming a carpet-like mat. The above-ground shoots rise from slender creeping rhizomes that are placed 2.5–7.5 cm deep in the soil, and form clonal colonies under trees. The vertically produced above-ground stems are slender and unbranched.

The leaves are oppositely arranged on the stem, but are clustered with six leaves that often seem to be in a whorl because the internodes are compressed. The leafy green leaves are produced near the terminal node and consist of two types: 2 larger and 4 smaller leaves. The smaller leaves develop from the axillary buds of the larger leaves. The shiny dark green leaves have 2 to 3 mm long petioles and leaf blades that are obovate.

The blades have entire margins and are 3.5 to 4.8 cm long and 1.5 to 2.5 cm wide, with 2 or 3 veins and cuneate shaped bases and abruptly acuminate apexes. In the fall, the leaves have red tinted veins and turn completely red. In late spring to midsummer, white flowers are produced that are 2 mm (0.079 in) in diameter with reflexed petals that are ovate-lanceolate in shape and 1.5–2 cm (0.59–0.79 in) long.

1.1  Obtainment

Common -- native, often cultivated and used in the times of humanity.

2.  Uses

  • The fruits are edible with a mild flavour somewhat like apples. Unripe berries of this variety can cause stomach cramps.
  • Bunchberry is an important forage plant for mule deer, black-tailed deer and moose.

3.  More

4.  'Souls

  • Hey, did your character do something cool with this plant?
  • Or maybe your pack has it for trade?

Categories: Flora | Resources