Common Name bunchberry
Origin N. America, Canada
Light sun to shade
Bunchberry, or creeping dogwood is a species of flowering plant in the Cornaceae (dogwood) family, native to northern Asia, northern USA, Canada and Greenland. Unlike its relatives, which are for the most part substantial trees and shrubs, C. canadensis is a creeping, rhizomatous perennial growing to about 20 cm (8 in) tall.
Fruit ca be eaten raw or cooked. Pleasant but without much flavour, they can be a little mealy & gummy. They can be added to breakfast cereals or used for making jams, pies, puddings, etc. High in pectin it can be used with pectin-low fruits when making jam. Pectin is said to help protect the body against radiation. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and is borne in small clusters on top of the plants.
A good dense ground cover plant, growing well in light woodland. It takes a little while to settle down and needs weeding for the first few years but becomes rampant when established and can then spread 60 - 90cm per year.
The leaves and stems are analgesic, cathartic and febrifuge. A tea has been used in the treatment of aches and pains, kidney and lung ailments, coughs, fevers, etc. A strong decoction has been used as an eye wash. The fruits are rich in pectin which is a capillary tonic, antioedemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and hypotensive. A tea made from the roots has been used to treat infant colic.