Leaf: Opposite, simple, 3 to 5 inches long, oval in shape with an entire or slightly wavy margin, arcuately veined, green above and slightly paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; very small and inconspicuous tight cluster, but surrounded by 4 very showy, large, white (occasionally pink) bracts, 2 inches in diameter, appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: A shiny, oval red drupe, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, in clusters of 3 to 5, maturing in fall.
Twig: Slender, green or purple (purple on sunlit side), later turning gray, often with a glaucous bloom. The terminal flower buds are clove-shaped, vegetative buds resemble a dull cat claw.
Bark: Gray and smooth when young, turning very scaly to finely blocky.
Form: A small tree with a short trunk that branches low, producing a slightly rounded to flat-topped crown. Branches are opposite, and assume a "candelabra" appearance.
Looks like: silky dogwood - blackhaw - alternate-leaf dogwood - kousa dogwood
Additional Range Information: Cornus florida is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information