Dwarf Cornel

Cornus canadensis
Family Cornaceae

* 4 white bracts surround the center cluster of insignificant greenish flowers, seemingly a single showy blossom.
* Leaves in a whorl of 6.
* Fruit a tight cluster of scarlet berries.
* Height: 3-8".

Natural History:
* Flowers May - July.
* Habitat: Cold woods, mountain slopes.
* Range: Northern Canada to north edge of United States.
* Native.

* "This plant I take for a variegated Herb Paris, True Love or One Berry, or rather One Flower, which is milk white, and made up with four leaves [petals], with many black threads in the middle, upon every thread grows a berry (when the leaves of the flower have fallen) as big as white pease, of a light red colour when they are ripe, and clustering together in a round form as big as a pullet's egg, which at a distance shews but as one berry, very pleasant in taste, and not unwholesome."
- John Josselyn, 1672
(Herb Paris or True-Love is the European Paris quadrifolia (Liliaceae), for which an American Trillium has been mistaken.)

* "... several other kinds of small fruits and berries unknown here of which we ate delicious dishes when we could find them. There are some red ones which appear almost like coral, that grow almost on the ground in little bunches with two or three leaves, resembling laurel, which give them charm; they seem like very fine bouquets and would serve as such."
- Pere Sagard, 1624

* Ripe berries, which are shown in the second picture, can be eaten raw or cooked, in moderation. Never eat more than a few!


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008