This is the only member of the Cornus family
that is not a tree or a shrub.
It makes excellent ground cover in moist woodland gardens. It can withstand nutrient poor or rich soil. Damp, cool, acid soil or peat moss.
In late summer, dense clusters of small, red berries replace the flowers. Some people enjoy these juicy fruits, with their crunchy little seeds, but others consider them mealy and tasteless. Bunch berries can be eaten as a trail nibble or added to puddings, preserves and sauces. (Kershaw)
The fruits are rich in pectin which is a capillary tonic, anti inflammatory, antispasmodic and hypotensive. Pectin also inhibits carcinogenesis and protects against radiation. (Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.)
Habitat Information: Many forest types, moist, and acid bogs. (University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium)
Garden Uses: Although it looks like a perennial, this plant is actually a ground spreading shrub. In natural settings bunch berry is not as prolific as in the garden. When it likes where it is, it can spread quite rapidly. It Is a great shade loving ground cover as a showy alternative to grass, can be planted next to paths, is resistant to some foot traffic, and when naturalized can help deter weeds. (Evergreen).
Insect Relationships: This plant is host to a great variety bugs. (Illinois Wildflowers).
Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Fruit is edible, gummy, nice to eat, but not much taste. Can use for jams, pies, puddings. High in pectin it is said to guard against radiation and carcinogenesis. A capillary tonic, antioedemic, anti inflammatory, antispasmodic and hypotensive. Leaves and stems medicinal, treating aches and pains, kidney and lung aliments, coughs, fevers. Decoction for eye wash. Crushed roots for eyewash. (Plants for a Future)
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The Network of Nature is a national initiative to strengthen Canadian biodiversity by providing the inspiration, tools and knowledge to enhance existing greenspaces and naturalize developed areas with locally appropriate native plant species.