Northern Ontario Plant Database
Cornus canadensis L.
En: bunchberry, crackerberry, dwarf cornel
Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)
General: A short, erect, perennial forb, 5–30 cm tall, glabrous, growing from a creeping rhizome. Inflorescence terminal, composed of a cluster of small flowers subtended by 4 white petaloid bracts (forming a pseudanthium), to 2.5 cm long.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, short-petiolate; internodes are short, so leaves appear whorled at the top of the stem. Vegetative plants have 4 leaves, flowering plants have 6 leaves. Venation is pinnate, but like all dogwoods (Cornus spp.), the veins are arcuate, curving inwards toward the tip of the leaf. Leaf blade are ovate to elliptic, 2–9 cm long; leaf bases cuneate, apices acute to acuminate, margins entire.
Flowers: Tiny, perfect, greenish-white, in a dense terminal cluster (cyme), subtended by 4 large white ovate to elliptic petaloid bracts. Flowers with a reduced 4-toothed calyx, 4 petals, 4 stamens, and an inferior ovary. Flowering time June to July.
Fruit: A cluster of orange-red to red drupes with a 2-seeded pit; fruits ripen July to August.
Habitat and Range: Native to boreal North America and northeast Asia. Very common and widespread in most moisture regimes and stand types throughout Ontario and the boreal forest region.
Internet Images: The Cornus canadensis page from borealforest.org.
More Cornus canadensis page from Andy's Ontario Wildflowers.
– written by Derek Goertz
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