Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Cornus canadensis L.; also Chamaepericlymenum canadense (L.) Aschers. & Graebn. and Cornella canadensis (L.) Rydb.

Common name(s): bunchberry, Canadian dwarf cornel, Canadian bunchberry, bunchberry dogwood, creeping dogwood, Canada dwarf-dogwood

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

– generally flowers spring through June in ME

– generally fruits June through August in ME

-stem is 3″-9″ high and woody at the base

-four to six terminally whorled leaves with one or two pairs of smaller leaves below

  • simple
  • Leaves acute at both ends with two to three lateral veins arising from the midvein

-Flowers solitary on a short stem

  • 4 white involucral bracts

-Bright red berries develop by late summer.


-disturbed sites

-forest edges





Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.

Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Chamaepericlymenum Canadense (L.) Aschers. & Graebn.” Chamaepericlymenum Canadense (Bunchberry, Canada Dwarf-Dogwood): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/chamaepericlymenum/canadense/.