What plant is that?

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Canada bunchberry--wholeplant Canada bunchberry--flower

Photos: © Doug McGrady

Our May Mystery plant is a woody sub-shrub that is more common in northern New England where summers are cooler, but it has been reported in Providence and Kent counties. It is considered rare in Rhode Island and is a species of concern. It has a whorl of ovate pointed leaves and in May an umbel of tiny greenish-yellow flowers surrounded by four white bracts. It grows 4” to 9” tall. The small red berry-like drupes ripen in a cluster during late August and give this plant one of its’ colloquial names.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
Cornus canadensis (syn. Chamaepericlymenum canadense)
Common Name:
  bunchberry, Canada dwarf-dogwood
  Cornaceae (dogwood family)
  moist woodlands