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Cornus canadensis
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Bunchberry
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Cornus canadensis
  

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About Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) Cornus canadensis (Canadian Dwarf Cornel, Canadian Bunchberry, Crackerberry) is a herbaceous member of the Cornaceae (Dogwood) family. It is widespread outside of California, but within the state it is a rare species occurring only near the coast in Mendocino County. For this reason it is included on CNPS list 2B.2. It grows about 20-30 centimeters tall and bears tiny flowers a few millimeters across that form a cluster at the center of four white, petal-like leaves 3-4 centimeter diameter. Each flower has highly elastic petals that flip backward, releasing springy filaments that are cocked underneath the petals. The filaments snap upward flinging pollen out of containers hinged to the filaments. This motion takes place in less than half a millisecond and the pollen experiences 800 times the force that the space shuttle does during liftoff. The Bunchberry has one of the fastest plant actions found so far requiring a camera capable of shooting 10,000 frames per second to catch the action (Edwards et al. 2005).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
7.9 - 11.8 in (20.1 - 30 cm)

Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
White

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Bogs and moist open places

Sun
Part Shade

Elevation ?
205' - 409'

Annual Precip. ?
44.2" - 50.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.73" - 0.84"

Coldest Month ?
44.3° F - 45.2° F

Hottest Month ?
60.8° F - 67.8° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 13.96 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers rocky acidic soil

Drainage
Medium, Standing

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 14, 15, 16, 17

Companion Plants
Use with other species of the northern coastal forests and woodlands

Wildlife Attracted
Members of the genus Cornus are host plant to the Spring Azure butterfly

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Rarely Used

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 1-2 mos. warm and 4-5 mos. cold stratification (USDA Forest Service 1974).

Common uses
Groundcovers, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Nurseries

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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