Latin Name: Cornus Canadensis
(Also Known As): Chamaepericlymenum canadense (J.Hill.)
Common Names: Puddingberry, Dwarf Cornel, Creeping Dogwood, Dwarf Dogwood, Pigeonberry
Native American Names: Makah: bûbûwak!tibupt, “berries with pebbles in them”; Quinault: olka´stap, snakeberry (2)
Related species: C. nuttalii, Pacific Flowering Dogwood; C. stolonifera, Red-Osier Dogwood
Body System Affiliations: Respiratory System, Digestive System, Nervous System
Botanical Description: (1:292)
Habit: Perennial herb.
Size: 6-9 inches high.
Leaves: Roundish, oval, deep green, turning yellow in fall.
Flowers: Clusters of tiny flowers surrounded by four showy bracts that look like ptetals.
Fruit: Clusters of small, red, shiny berries.
Underground Parts: Creeping rootstalks send up stems.
Habitat: Under trees near lakes, streams.
Range: Northern California to Alaska.
Native Where: Northern California to Alaska. (1:292)
Places/Dates Observed/Description: May 2003 on the floor of temperate rainforest in Quinault, WA. June 2003 in native plants garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA.
Indigenous and Non-Western Use/Relationships/Significance:
Food: The Makah have eaten the berries fresh. (2:43)
Other: The Quinault have claimed the berries are poisonous. (2:43)
Western (European-American) Uses/Relationships:
Food: Fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. High in pectin, can be added to jams.
Part Used: Whole plant
Medicinal Actions: Analgesic, Cathartic, Febrifuge, Kidney, Ophthalmic (plants for a future)
Indications: Fever, inflammation, pain, headaches, colitis, dysentery, diarrhea, chronic gastritis, abdominal gas cramps, mild colitis. (4:960)
Body System Associations: Digestive, Respiratory, Nervous
Constituents: Cornine, cornic acid, quercetin, phenylethylamine, tannins, flavenoids. (4:96)
Harvest: Dry whole plant
Storage: Dried plant good for one year.
Preparation: Standard infusion of 3-4 grams for a cup.
Applications: Drink tea up to four times daily.
Cautions: May have allergic reaction in people who respond negatively to salicylates.
Personal Experience: An unusually cheery plant which always seems to say hi to me when I pass. When not in flower can be easily distinguished by the leaves; the way they are arranged and the way the leaf veins curve toward the tip. Super fun to draw.
Plant Part: Whole Plant (4:96)
Season of Harvest: Summer to early fall.
Method of Harvest: Dry by hanging, lying flat, or in a paper bag.
Technique: Sow seed as soon as it is ripe. Separate from fruit which has germination inhibitors. (4)
Timing: Germination may be slow. Divide in spring.
Present in “Gifts of the First People” Project: Yes, with the Respiratory System plants.
Taken at Pt. Defiance Native Plant Garden, Spring 2003. Seen with Adiantum pedatum, Fragaria vesca, Oxalis oregana, and other friends.
1. Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, et al. Western Garden Book. Menlo Park, California: Sunset Publishing Corporation, 2001.
2. Gunther, Erna. Ethnobotany of Western Washington. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1973.
3. Hitchcock, C. Leo, and Arthur Cronquist. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1973.
4. Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West. Red Crane Books, Inc., Santa Fe, NM: 1993.
5. Morris, Rick. Plants for a Future Database. http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/database/latinA.html [Site visited 07-22-03]
Plants as Food and Medicine