Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Bunchberry is a very common perennial woodland plant, found almost everywhere except in deep shade: edges, gaps, hedgerows, open-canopy hardwoods. Often about 15 cm high, with 4 – 6 whorled leaves, its tiny flower appears in June and July. This little flower has only one petal, but the much larger petal-like bracts make it quite conspicuous, and show its relation with other dogwood types. The bright red ‘berries’ cluster near the ground and invite any passer-by (bird, mouse, human) to try them. The taste is rather bland, but they are quite edible, and thus are consumed by many, including me.


Bunchberry relies heavily on vegetative reproduction through its spreading rhizomes, so it is often found in large colonies or clones which can survive for decades. It can be grown from seed, although germination requires both light and a preceding cold treatment. It can also be started from transplanting a clump into a moist, shady location where the soil is not too heavy. It makes a nice addition to a wild garden, although it may be moderately difficult to start.

Upcoming Events

9:00 am Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Jul 3 @ 9:00 am – Jul 7 @ 3:00 pm
This camp builds on the camper’s ability to encounter and describe the natural world. They will use journals, collecting equipment, and take part in many fun activities that will expand their understanding of how to
9:00 am Young Ecologists Week 1
Young Ecologists Week 1
Jul 10 @ 9:00 am – Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm
This camp will begin to introduce the campers to the amazing complexity of our native Acadian forests. They will dissect owl pellets, take part in forest restoration planning and plantings and develop their understanding of
2:00 pm Forest Restoration Workshop
Forest Restoration Workshop
Jul 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Forest Restoration Workshop @ Macphail Woods Nature Centre | Vernon Bridge | Prince Edward Island | Canada
The Forest Restoration workshop offers alternatives to clear-cuts and plantations, and other ideas on how to improve the health of Island forests. It starts with a presentation in the Nature Centre and then participants will