Bunchberry


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

Apr
27
Sat
7:30 pm Owl Prowl
Owl Prowl
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come join the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in celebrating the wonderful world of owls at one of this year’s Owl Prowls. To meet the growing interest in these fascinating birds, there will be Owl
May
4
Sat
2:00 pm Landscaping with Native Plants
Landscaping with Native Plants
May 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Want to spend less time cutting grass and more time enjoying the beautiful plants around your home? This workshop introduces a variety of hardy native plants to attract wildlife and beautify your yard.
May
11
Sat
8:00 am Birds and Breakfast
Birds and Breakfast
May 11 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
The Macphail Homestead will be open at 7am to serve a free “early bird” breakfast. Join other birders beside the fireplace in the Great Room for at hot beverage and breakfast treats to start your
May
18
Sat
10:00 am Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Participants will practice pruning on a variety of plants in the nursery, arboretum and woodlands. Please bring along any of your favourite pruning tools. Workshop will include a slide show and demonstration of proper pruning
May
25
Sat
10:00 am Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
May 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This workshop will look at on creating diverse, beautiful and functional hedgerows and windbreaks using a variety of native plants. Participants will learn about which plants are best, spacing, planting and maintenance.

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