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Cornus canadensis - L.

Common Name Creeping Dogwood, Bunchberry dogwood, Bunchberry
Family Cornaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Coniferous woods, thickets and damp clearings in peaty soils[43].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to Alaska, south to Virginia and California.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cornus canadensis Creeping Dogwood, Bunchberry dogwood, Bunchberry


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Cornus canadensis Creeping Dogwood, Bunchberry dogwood, Bunchberry
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cornus canadensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Chamaepericlymenum canadense.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses: Pectin  Pectin

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 101]. Pleasant but without much flavour[2, 55, 62]. The fruits are rather dry a bit gummy and rather mealy but they have a pleasant slightly sweet flavour, though they are not the type of fruit I would like to eat raw in quantity[K]. They can be added to breakfast cereals or used for making jams, pies, puddings etc[183]. An excellent ingredient for steamed plum puddings[183]. High in pectin[172], so it can be used with pectin-low fruits when making jam[K]. Pectin is said to protect the body against radiation[201]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[200] and is borne in small clusters on top of the plants[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Cathartic  Febrifuge  Kidney  Ophthalmic

The leaves and stems are analgesic, cathartic and febrifuge[257]. A tea has been used in the treatment of aches and pains, kidney and lung ailments, coughs, fevers etc[222]. A strong decoction has been used as an eye wash[222, 257]. The fruits are rich in pectin which is a capillary tonic, antioedemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and hypotensive[218]. Pectin also inhibits carcinogenesis and protects against radiation[218]. A tea made from the roots has been used to treat infant colic[222]. The mashed roots have been strained through a clean cloth and the liquid used as an eyewash for sore eyes and to remove foreign objects from the eyes[257].

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Other Uses

Pectin  Pectin

The fruit is rich in pectin[172]. A good dense ground cover plant, growing well in light woodland[28, 208]. It takes a little while to settle down and needs weeding for the first few years[197] but becomes rampant when established and can then spread 60 - 90cm per year[208].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility[1]. Easily grown in a peaty soil in shade or partial shade[187]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Grows best in sandy soils[208]. Prefers a damp soil[1]. Not suitable for alkaline soils[28, 188]. A very ornamental plant[1], it grows well with heathers[187]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Wetlands plant. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. A clumping mat former. Forming a dense prostrate carpet spreading indefinitely [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[80, 113]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[80, 164]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[164]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[80, 164]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[164]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. This plant can be a bit temperamental when it is being divided. We have found it best to tease out small divisions from the sides of the clump, to avoid the need to disturb the main clump by digging it up. Try to ensure that each division has already produced some roots. Pot them up in light shade in a greenhouse and make sure that they are not allowed to become dry. Once they are rooting and growing away well, which might take 12 months, they can be planted out into their permanent positions.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Subject : Cornus canadensis  
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