Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida

Dogwood: Full Tree - Click for larger image
  • Family: Cornaceae

  • Small- to medium-sized tree

  • Short trunk with spreading crown

  • Height around 9m (30')
Leaves
Twigs & Fruiting Structures
Bark
Distribution and Uses

Leaves

  • Opposite, 6-13cm (2-5") in length

  • Elliptical, egg- or wedge-shaped, short-stalked, hairless leaves with wavy edges, 5-7 paired lateral veins

  • Appear untoothed to naked eye but small teeth seen with lens

  • Nearly hairless and green from above; paler with fine hairs from below

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Dogwood: Leaves - Click for larger image
Dogwood: Buds - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

  • Dark purple (sometimes green or reddish), thin twigs and branchlets; frequently swollen from insect attacks

  • Elliptical, shiny red, berry-like fruit

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Dogwood: Flowers - Click here for larger image

Photo by Dan Perlman

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Bark

  • Dark, reddish-brown, rough, deeply checkered

Distribution & Uses

  • Prefers moist or dry soils; inhabits valleys, hardwood forests, roadsides

  • Distribution includes most of eastern U.S., parts of Ontario

  • Twigs provide food for various wildlife (deer, birds, rabbits)

  • Wood used for bobbins, mallets, golf club heads; root bark produces scarlet dye

  • Indians used aromatic bark and roots to treat malaria

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Dogwood: Bark - Click for larger image