A low, herbaceous shrub, possessing the characteristic blossoms of the Flowering Dogwood. Cool, moist woods. Newfoundland to Alaska, south to New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, and California. Rare in northern Ohio. May, June.

Rootstock

Slender, creeping, rather woody.

Stem

Flowering stems scaly, three to nine inches high, four-sided, and grooved.

Leaves

Upper leaves crowded into an apparent whorl in sixes or fours, ovate or oval, entire, pointed, conspicuously veined; lower leaves scale-like.

Flowers

Small, greenish, surrounded by a large white involucre of four ovate leaflets.

Calyx

Tubular, minutely four-toothed.

Petals

Four, oblong, spreading, greenish.

Stamens

Four; filaments slender.

Pistil

Ovary one, two-celled; style slender; stigma flat.

Fruit

A bunch of bright-red, globular drupes.

The Bunchberry is a tiny shrub that looks like an herb, blossoms among the early flowers in the heart of the woods, carpets the forest floor of its chosen haunts with a spread of foliage during the summer, and in autumn delights the eye with its bunches of bright-red berries, which are really drupes, surmounting each slender, leafy stem. The blossom is a copy of that of the Flowering Dogwood, having a similar, great white involucre whose four leaflets look like four white petals, so that the inflorescence, which is rather unusual, looks like a single, large, white flower with a greenish centre. This greenish centre is really a bunch of tiny green tubular florets, each of which will in autumn produce a bright-scarlet berry.

Bunchberry at Home. Cornus Canadensis

Bunchberry at Home. Cornus Canadensis