Cornus × unalaschkensis
Arctocrania × unalaschkensis (Ledeb.) Nakai
Chamaepericlymenum × unalaschkense (Ledeb.) Rydb.
Cornella × unalaschkensis (Ledeb.) Rydb.
Cornus × intermedia (Farr) Calder & Roy L.Taylor
Cornus × lepagei Gervais & Blondeau
Cornus canadensis intermedia Farr
Common Name: Bunchberry
Cornus x unalaschkensis is a low-growing perennial plant producing erect stems that are more or less woody and persistant at the base. Spreading by means of a rhizomatous rootstock to form a colony, it can grow 5 - 20cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.
Northern N. America - Alaska and British Colombia to Newfoundland and Quebec, Greenland; E. Asia Russian Far East
Maritime copse or heath, maritime coniferous forests and bog woodlands, moist broadleaf or coniferous forests; at elevations up to 3,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Cornus × unalaschkensis grows within the Arctic Circle and is a very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to around -40°c when dormant. It can also be found at higher elevations up to 3,000 metres further south in the Northern Hemisphere (as far south as California according to one report[
]). It does not grow well in areas with hot summers.
Requires a moist peaty acid sandy soil[
This is a naturally occurring hybrid, Cornus canadensis x Cornus suecica, and is intermediate in characteristics between the parents[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The fruit can be dried for later use[
]. A small berry about 6mm in diameter[
]. The fruit is rich in pectin. The red, globose fruit is 6 - 8mm in diameter with a moderately thick flesh enclosing a single, large seed[
A good ground-cover plant, succeeding under trees and shrubs[
The following use is for the closely related C. suecica, but it almost certainly also applies to this plant[
The fruit is rich in pectin[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[
]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[
]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[
]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[
]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[
]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. This species is a hybrid and so might not breed true from seed.
Division in spring. This plant can be a bit temperamental when it is being divided. We have found it best to tease out small divisions from the sides of the clump, to avoid the need to disturb the main clump by digging it up. Try to ensure that each division has already produced some roots. Pot them up in light shade in a greenhouse and make sure that they are not allowed to become dry. Once they are rooting and growing away well, which might take 12 months, they can be planted out into their permanent positions.