Bunchberries of Isle Royale

Bunchberries are the flower of the Canada dogwood. Peterson's field guide to edible plants describes them as "insipid-tasting" and "essentially tasteless," but "plentiful and nutritious."

Despite that ringing endorsement, I decided not to sample them. They are indeed plentiful on Isle Royale.

In addition to the color of the berries, notice the cluster of four leafs on those branches with berries, visible in this picture. The ribs of the leafs also aid identification, as they run nearly parallel with the outside of the leaf.

These were found outside Threemile, August 2007.

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nartreb

nartreb - Jan 10, 2009 12:14 am - Hasn't voted

pretty good.

OK, so they're not as tasty or raspberries or strawberries, but they're refreshing and (by berry standards) nourishing, and easy to pick.

To quote myself: "the taste is fairly bland and starchy, with a hint of cooked apples."

You could do a lot worse - try uncooked "deer moss" lichen, for example.

PS Leafs are more often found six to a cluster (including the one seen here).

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