Cornus Canadensis

Low growing member of the Cornaceae family that remains evergreen in most of the Pacific Northwest. Bunchberry is a petite slow growing rhizomatous groundcover, with 4-7 large leaves that whorl around the top of a short stem and forming a carpet-like mat. The inflorescence is a small cluster of 15-20 tiny purplish-white flowers subtended by four petal-like bracts, giving the appearance of one large flower. Fruit ripens into a tight cluster of coral berry-like drupes.  Blooms in the summer between May and July, depending on location. In the fall, the leaves have red tinted veins and turn completely red.

bunchberry leaves
bunchberry in understory © Seven Oaks
bunchberry inflorescence © Seven Oaks
  • bunchberry leaves
  • bunchberry in understory © Seven Oaks
  • bunchberry inflorescence © Seven Oaks

Plant Details

Habitat:
Riparian Forests
Bottomland Forests
Mixed Hardwood-Conifer Forest or Woodland
Shrub Swamp
Shallow Marsh
Mature Height:
2-8"
Shade Preference:
Partial Shade,
Soil Tolerance:
Moist well-drained soils
Special Uses:
Attracts birds.