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(Cornus canadensis)

Host Plant: Spring Azure Butterfly (Celastrina ladon) and the Cecropia Moth (Hylaphora cecropia)

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, and wasps.

Flower Color: white

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial

Flowering Time: May to July

Range in North America: Northern United States and Canada

Exposure: Prefers full sun to part shade

Hardiness: 2 to 6

Soil Requirements: well-drained soils that are acidic to neutral

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Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Close-up of bunchberry flower (Cornus canadensis).
Close-up of Bunchberry flower — David Whelan, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), a member of the Cornaceae (Dogwood Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows to from 0.3′ to 1′ tall and blooms in the spring and summer (May to July).  This plant grows in various types of forests where it can have shade.


Alternative Names

Dwarf Dogwood, Canadian Dwarf Cornel


Hosted Species

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) is a host plant for the Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) butterfly and the Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia).


Range in the United States and Canada

Range map of bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) in the United States and Canada.
Range map of bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) in the United States and Canada.

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) is native generally the northern United States and Canada.  It is also native to Greenland and Eastern Asia.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Cornus, comes from the Latin word, “Cornu,” meaning horn (Missouri Botanical Garden).  It describes the tough wood of members of this genus.  The species name, canadensis, is Latin for the native location of the plant.  The bunchberry is the only herbaceous member of the genus.

Native Location

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland-Labrador, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territory, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6


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