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Cornus (canadensis)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Cornaceae
Family Common Name: Dogwood family
Scientific Name: Cornus canadensis L.
Common Name: Bunchberry dogwood
Species Code: CORCAN
Ecotype: Lodgepole pine forest, West Glacier,Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT. 1000m elevation.
General Distribution: C. canadensis occurs from Alaska to Greenland, south to California and New Mexico, east to Minnesota and Pennsylvania, also in Asia. It inhabits the understory of moist, shaded forests.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainer
Time To Grow: 6 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 6 true leaves, 4 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: The drupes are hand collected in late August and early September when they turn orange-red.Seeds are tan at maturity. Fruits are collected in plastic bags are are kept refrigerated prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are extracted from the fruit by maceration using a Dyb-vig and screens.
Seed longevity is 2 to 4 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are scarified using H2S04 acid bath for 10 to 30 minutes, followed by a neutralization with lime and rinsed with water for 30 minutes to remove acid residue. Seeds are soaked with water for 48 hours, then placed in a 90 day cold, moist stratification. Seeds are covered with medium. There was no appreciable difference in germination percentages between acid scarified seed/ 90 day cold, moist stratification vs. non-scarified seed/5 month cold, moist stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and Outdoor nursery growing facility.

Sowing Method: Direct Seeding.Seeds are lightly covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat,perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, %Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.

Containers are irrigated thoroughly. Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C day and 13 to 18C night. Seedlings are moved from the greenhouse to the shadehouse 4 months after germination.
Establishment Phase: Seedlings germinate uniformly in 10 to 15 days. The first true leaves appear 15 to 20 days following germination.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once seedlings are established, plants develop rapid shoot and root growth 2 to 4 weeks following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm bi-weekly during the growing season. Plants are rhizomatous and quickly fill containers during the rapid growth stage.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm in early fall. Plants are flushed with clear water prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 6 to 9 months
Harvest Date:September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: C. canadensis is vigorously rhizomatous; plants need to be potted into larger containers or outplanted the first year.
Divisions of rhizomes would be a method of increasing nursery stock if seeds are unavailable.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Second Edition, Deno, Norman, published 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, National Park Service, Hassell, Wendel, April 1991.
Propagation of Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Rose,R., Chachuluski, E.C., and Haase, Diane, Oregon State University Press,1998.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Cornus canadensis L. plants 160 ml conetainer; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/06/17). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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