Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Bunchberry, Presumpscot River. Portland, Maine. Good Photos of 2009.
This is a bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) from the woods along the Presumpscot River, just above Presumpscot Falls in Portland, Maine. Bunchberries are the smallest member of the dogwood family. The flowers turn into bright red berries in late summer. Bunchberry plants are tiny, about the size of your hand, the flower is the size of a nickel, and they grow very low to the ground. These photos were taken in mid-June, 2009 in the conservation land protected by Portland Trails.
I like to get pics from the plant's perspective, rather than from peoples, which for bunchberry means lying on your belly, which means risking crushing and squishing all the plants nearby, which I prefer not to do. Since these guys were growing in a patch of broken sunlight next to a large riverside hemlock tree, there was a clear enough area of bare hemlock needles to lie down on without wreaking havoc on the bunchberries.