alternate-leaf dogwood Cornaceae Cornus
alternifolia L. f.
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, oval to ovate, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, arcuate venation, leaves tend to cluster near branch tips so they may appear whorled or opposite, margins may be somewhat wavy, green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small, white, in flat-topped clusters, 2 to 4 inches across, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Bluish-black drupe in clusters, (3/8 inch in diameter); fruit stalks turn reddish, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Slender, red to dark purple, pith white; terminal buds small (1/4 inch long), ovoid with two or three scales showing, leaf scars small and narrow; dead twigs turn a yellow-orange.
Bark: Smooth, dark green, streaky; eventually turns light brown and develops shallow fissures.
Form: Large shrub, may occasionally reach 30 feet tall; slender branches often horizontal with the ground; developing a flat-topped crown.
Looks like: flowering dogwood
- roughleaf dogwood
- silky dogwood
- red-osier dogwood
| Additional Range Information:
Cornus alternifolia is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting alternate-leaf dogwood.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson