All about the Bunchberry

When I started harvesting berries I kept coming across a little plant close to the ground that had a little “bunch” of berries at the top. I found out that these were bunchberries, and they grew on plant called a dwarf dogwood (Cornus canadensis). I was told that the berries were edible, but not particularly tasty. Since then I have learned a little more about this plant. Here are some interesting things about the bunchberry:

They are very high in pectin and often mixed into more tasty berries in order to help them set in jams and jellies. In fact you can find recipes for pectin derived from bunchberries available on the internet.

The leaves of the dwarf dogwood turn a beautiful red color in the fall and you can often see them on the mountains here in southcentral Alaska as large patches of red.

They are the ‘fastest’ plant when they open their petals to pollinate (22 feet per second!).

Here is a great source of information on the humble bunchberry:

Bunchberry

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