|Cornus canadensis||Creeping Dogwood; Bunchberry; Dwarf Cornel|
Origin: from Greenland to Alaska in N America
A ground-covering perennial which sends up annual flowering stems to a height of 20 cm, topped with a whorl of 6-8 bright shiny green leaves. These leaves surround the flower head, which comprises a cluster of many tiny flowers, green or red-tinged, cupped by 4 large white bracts, clearly veined, and tipped with green. (Bracts are leaves associated with the flowering parts; they can often be coloured, making them look like petals.) The fruits are bright red.
Introduced in 1758.
The name Cornus is an ancient Latin name for the cornel, Cornus mas, with which this species is grouped. The species name is made up of two parts - -ensis is an adjectival ending indicating origin or place eg kewensis, relating to Kew, hortensis, relating to gardens or cultivation; the first part of the word indicates the place in which the plant was found ie Canada (canadensis originally also indicated the north-eastern United States). The name 'dogwood' refers to the use of the wood for skewers, corrupted from the French dague, meaning dagger.