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Canadian Bunchberry

(Cornus canadensis)

Other Names:

Bunchberry, Creeping Dogwood,, Dwarf Cornel

Range:

Family:

Cornaceae Dogwood family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

Perennial herbaceous plant. Typically growing in colonies.

Height:

At maturity grows to 6"

Leaves:

Near the top of the plant there is a whorl of 6 parallel veined leaves, dull green above, and shiny green below.

Stem/Trunk:

Stems are rigid and woody

Root:

Rhizome

Flower:

Season:

Late spring

Appearance:

What appear to be 4 white petals are actually modified leaves (bracts), surround a cluster of cream colored to greenish true flowers in the center.

Seed/Fruit:

A cluster of shiny red berries. They are edible, although rather bland. I have heard them described as tasting a bit like apples, but I do not see the resemblance.

Miscellaneous characteristics:

In mid to late spring this plant forms beautiful carpets in lush woodlands and swampy areas.

Habitat:

Cool Lush woodlands, swamps

Parts Used:

The leaves can be added to salads, or eaten as a stewed vegetable similar to spinach, but more typically the berries are eaten raw, or made into jam.

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

Leaves, trail nibble, salad green, cooked vegetable. Berries, trail nibble, stewed fruit, jams or preserves.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

Native Americans used leaf tea to treat aches and pains, kidney and lung ailments, coughs, fevers, and as an eye wash. Root tea was used for infant colic. Roots and leaves used in tea to alleviate fits.

Medicinal Actions:

Analgesic, Antiarthritic, Antipyretic, Antirheumatic, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Anxiolytic, Febrifuge, Nervine, Pectoral, Relaxant, Tonic - Kidney

(Note that one of the four white bracts is missing in the above photo)

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield