Cornus Canadensis (Canadian Bunchberry) in a Nutshell
It is not mistletoe, but we are passionate about it. Whether it is to beautify your garden or spice up a meal, you have to get the Cornus canadensis plant also referred to as Canadian bunchberry, crackerberry and Canadian dwarf cornel. Native to the United States, Asia and Canada, this plant is mainly found hiding in forests. It is derived from the dogwood family which is a group of flowering plants which grow mainly in moist, organic and acidic soil.
What it looks like
This plant usually grows 6 leaves: 2 are usually larger than the other 4. It grows 10 to 20 cm tall. They are groupies, although they can be found as singles. Its beautiful purple and white flowers sitting on dark shiny leaves are a sight to behold. When Cornus canadensis becomes mature, it produces beautiful, fleshly red, round fruits that grow in clusters that are ready to eat in mid-summer.
You can eat the fruits raw or cooked. They can be used to add a twist to your jams, puddings or baked goodies or just about anything you like. They are rich with vitamin C that is great for your health. It helps to repair damaged tissues and cells.
This plant has elastic petals that can flip backwards and release pollens at the fastest pollen transfer rate known today. We are talking about a speed of 24,000 meters a second! To see this action would be everything right? Sadly, you can’t see the process with your naked eyes.
It is a great meal for birds, deer and moose. Birds make it their city of refuge for food during the summer period and they disperse the seeds all over.
This plant is in contention for becoming our national plant. It has a lot of support out there.
Canadensis: The Garden of Canada will put this plant in the spotlight.
Canadian Bunchberry. (By: Neelix.)