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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Cornus unalaschkensis

Bunchberry

Flowering Period: May, Jun May June
Flower color: white
Partial sun Mostly shady Full shade
Moist soil


At a Glance: Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.

Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Erect stems, minutely hairy.
Leaves: 4-7 leaves in a single terminal whorl above 1-2 pairs of leafy bracts; leaves are green above and whitish beneath; parallel veins; size: 2-8 cm (0.8-3.15 in) long.
Flowers: What looks like a single large flower is actually four white bracts with a small cluster of greenish-white flowers in the center. Each flower has 4 sepals, 4 stamens, 4 petals. May bloom twice (late spring and again in late summer). Size: 2.5 cm (1 in) across (including bracts).
Flowering Period: May, June.
Fruits: Clusters of bright red, fleshy, berry-like drupes, pithy; size: 5-9 mm wide.

Cornus unalaschkensis
Photo © Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

0-1500 meters.

low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
Can tolerate nitrogen-poor soils.
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites


Wildlife Value
(data not available)

Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Landscape Uses: Semi-evergreen groundcover. Work rotting bark, wood, etc. into the soil when planting.


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.