Cornus canadensis – Bunchberry or Dwarf cornel, creeping dogwood
Native range: Eastern Asia to Far East Russia, Canada, Greenland, Northern USA
We are in for a steamy week ahead; certainly not my idea of great weather. The creeping dogwood also likes it cool. Usually the name Cornus makes us think of trees and shrubs. But this is a lovely perennial dogwood, which grows only to 15-20 cm tall, with leaves arranged in whorls of 4 or 6. The flowers, typical for a Cornus, are easy recognizable after the 4 large, white petal-like bracts. The fruit is an attractive, red, globe-shaped drupe, persistent, and also edible; especially birds are very fond on consuming the fruits during the fall migration.
Among its uses by the Natives Americans I found the mention of fruits consumption as a cure for insanity!
(Maybe I should try to sell fruits instead of seeds – I might get rich; or I can eat them all and have at least my plant-insanity taken care of).
Desirable as a groundcover in any shade garden, where it will form a carpet underneath small trees or shrubs; I have also seen it growing on old tree stumps on top of moss, which would be great to try to ‘reproduce’ in a shady corner. It needs a slightly acidic substrate and a really cool location in part-shade to shade.
Propagation: by seed (difficult germination, but there are protocols available) and division.
Note: Linnaea borealis – twinflower, it was the favourite plant of Carl Linnaeus from when exploring the northern part of Sweden (and the only species that bears his name). A delicate, evergreen woodland plant, with short stems that bear pairs of nodding, pink flowers usually in June. Borealis –‘northern’ refers to its distribution in forests of the northern hemisphere (circumpolar).