Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
General: Low, erect woodland plant, about 10 cm tall, that grows in colonies.
Leaves & Twigs: Plants arise from thread-like, creeping roots from which unbranched stems sprout.
Flowers & Fruits:
- Each plant has a single cluster with four showy white bracts that look like petals, which are tiny and either green, purple, or cream-coloured.
- The fruits are red berries that appear later in the summer.
Habitat: A forest plant, bunchberry tolerates a variety of soil and site conditions.
PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a 1-metre-square section to observe.
To Observe: When flowers open, black central dots are visible (these are the stigmas).
- First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
- Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.
This species is monitored in:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Tiny insects can trigger an explosive opening of mature bunchberry flowers, and are showered with pollen as they fly away.