Flowering Dogwood

(Cornus florida)

Figure 1: Flowering dogwood

Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://classes.hortla.wsu.edu/hort231/List03/CornusFla.html

 

Tree Shape & Form

The flowering dogwood is a small tree with a short trunk that branches low, producing a slightly rounded to flat-topped crown. The branches are opposite, and assume a "candelabra" appearance. (1)

Bark & Twig

                                                 

Figure 2: Bark                                                                        Figure 3: Twig

Date retrieved: 06/28/07                                                       Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44     http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44

 

                                                                                          

                                                           

 

 

 The bark is gray and smooth when young and it eventually turns very scaly to finely blocky. (1) The twigs are slender, greenish to light brown, and smooth often curving upward at the tip. (2) The terminal flower buds are clove-shaped, vegetative buds resemble a dull cat claw. (1)

Leaves

Figure 4: Leaves

Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowering_Dogwood

 

The leaves of the flowering dogwood are:

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opposite

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simple

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3 to 5 inches long

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clustered towards tips of twigs

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margins smooth or wavy

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veins prominent and curved like a bow

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foliage: bright red in autumn (3)

Flower

Figure 5: Flowering dogwood flowers

Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://forestry.about.com/b/a/252816.htm

 

The flowers are very small and an inconspicuous tight cluster, but surrounded by 4 very showy, large, white (occasionally pink) bracts. They are 2 inches in diameter and appear in mid-spring. (1)

 

Fruit

Figure 6: Fruitful leaves

Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/cornus_florida.html

 

The fruit are berrylike, shiny red and elliptical. There are several at the end of a long stalk and mature in early autumn. (4) They are usually 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch long. (1)

Wood & Its Uses

Because the hard wood is so shock resistant it is useful for making weaving-shuttles. It is also made into spools, small pulleys, mallet heads, and jeweler's blocks. Indians used the aromatic bark and roots as a remedy for malaria and extracted a red dye from the roots. (4)

Habitat & Range

Figure 7: Coverage map

Date retrieved: 06/28/07

http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44

 

Habitats for the flowering dogwood include both moist and dry soils of valleys and uplands in understory of hardwood forests. (4) The map above shows the coverage range of the flowering dogwood. It ranges from Southern Ontario east to southwest Maine and south to north Florida to central Texas and finally north to central Michigan. (4)

 

Special Facts

In recent years the trees have been severely impacted by dogwood blight, a fungus disease that can decimate natural populations. The disease eventually kills the leaves and in two to three years the tree dies. Dogwoods in the open, with good air circulation and sunlight, are not usually attacked as are trees in the forest understory. (5)

 

References:

1. Seiler, John R., Jensen, Edward C., Peterson, John A., Virginia tech Forestry Department. 28 June 2007. http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44

2. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. "Forest Trees of Illinois". p. 52. Dept. of Botany, Southern Illinois University. 27 June 2007.

3. "Flowering Dogwood". 28 June 2007. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/commontr/flowerin.htm

4. Little, Elbert L. "National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region". Published: 2 July 1980. p. 616.

5. 13 Jan. 2007. "Cornus florida". 28 June 2007. http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/cornus_f.cfm

 

Figures:

Figure 1: 18 June 2007. "Cornus florida Flowering dogwood". 28 June 2007. http://classes.hortla.wsu.edu/hort231/List03/CornusFla.html

Figure 2: Seiler, John R., Jensen, Edward C., Peterson, John A., Virginia tech Forestry Department. 28 June 2007. http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44

Figure 3: Seiler, John R., Jensen, Edward C., Peterson, John A., Virginia tech Forestry Department. 28 June 2007. http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44   

Figure 4: 11 June 2007. "Flowering Dogwood". 28 June 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowering_Dogwood

Figure 5: 21 March 2007. "Discussion: Forcing Dogwoods to Bloom". 28 June 2007. http://forestry.about.com/b/a/252816.htm

Figure 6: Prepared by: Evans, Erv. "Cornus florida". NC State University. 28 June 2007. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/cornus_florida.html

Figure 7: Seiler, John R., Jensen, Edward C., Peterson, John A., Virginia tech Forestry Department. 28 June 2007. http://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=44