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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

32. Cornaceae, the Dogwood Family

1. Cornus L. -- Dogwood

1. Cornus stolonifera Michx. -- Red osier


Many-stemmed shrub 1.5-3 m tall; main stems branched above, the young branches and first-year twigs dark red, older branches yellowish; new growth glabrous to strigulose with 2-branched hairs. Leaves opposite, simple, green above, whitish beneath, ovate to broadly lanceolate, mostly 4-15 cm long, 1-7 cm wide; petioles 5-25 mm long. Flowers crowded in dense, flat-topped, terminal cymes, perfect, regular, ca. 4 mm across; sepals 4, minute to 0.5 mm long; petals 4, white, 2-3 mm long; stamens 4; carpels 2, style 1, ovary inferior. Fruit a white drupe, 6-9 mm in diameter; stone brown with yellow stripes. Late May--Aug. Shores, stream banks, floodplains, moist wooded slopes, springs, fens and other wet or moist habitats; common; (Newf. to AK, s to PA, IL, NE and n Mex.).

Other dogwoods are encountered on the eastern edge of our range but are less often associated with wetland habitats than C. stolonifera. These include C. amomum P. Mill., pale dogwood; C. drummondii C. A. Mey., roughleaved dogwood; and C. foemina P. Mill. subsp. racemosa (Lam.) J. S. Wils., gray dogwood. All three are found in moist to dry woodlands, often on floodplains, seldom in wetter habitats.

GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Return to Family -- Cornaceae - The Dogwood Family

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