Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Four random facts about Bunchberry

The bunchberry are blooming along the North Shore. With their simple, bold flowers and symmetrical leaves, they are one of the most common and easiest to identify of all flowers.

Like many wildflowers, this one has lots of factoids concerning its name, its ecology and even its anatomy. You can impress your hiking companions with just one of these four random facts. By the time you get all four out, they'll think you're a genius.

Random fact #1: The name bunchberry refers to the tight "bunch" of orange-colored berries that ripen later in summer. 

Random fact #2: A common local name for the flower is "Canada dogwood." In fact, that's a literal translation of the scientific name Cornus canadensis

Random Fact #3: The beautiful white "petals" aren't actually petals. Instead, they are modified leaves that surround and draw attention to the actual flowers, which are very small and greenish yellow. Each one of those little flowers could ripen into one of the orange berries. 

Random Fact #4: The berries are popular with veeries and vireos. 

Any questions?

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