Taken May 22, 2010 – Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Canon Rebel XSi with Canon 100mm Macro Lens
Bunchberry / Creeping Dogwood
The bunchberry dogwood is a low-growing perennial that spreads by rhizomes that creep just under the soil surface.
It has one or two whorls of leaves at the top of each stem, topped in late Spring with showy white bracts surrounding a cluster of tiny flowers. The four white “petals” are actually not part of the flower at all, they are white bracts. There is a greenish cluster of flowers in the center of the four white bracts. In late summer clusters of vivid red berries replace the flowers for a second season of interest. Birds such as Spruce Grouse and Warbling Vireo eat these berries and help to distribute seeds to new locations. Moose are also fond of them, though most people find them bland.
Bunchberry can be found growing throughout the northern half of North America, including most of Canada. It is often found in large colonies in areas of dappled shade or along the woods edge.