Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Alternateleaf Dogwood - Cornus alternifolia
The Alternateleaf Dogwood - Cornus alternifolia, is a small deciduous tree or large shrub that reaches heights of only 15-30 feet tall on average. The Alternateleaf Dogwood has a very distinct layered horizontal branching structure, it is the only Eastern Dogwood with alternate rather then opposite leaves. Native to moist rich woods, slopes, ravines, thickets, stream and river banks, swamp margins, and floodplains from 50-1900 m, throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. It can be found growing from Manitoba east to New Foundland, South to Northwestern Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi. Similar in appearance to the Flowering Dogwood with the exception of the leaves being alternate instead of opposed, and it's flower clusters are subtended by large showy white bracts.
The leaf of the Alternateleaf Dogwood is alternate, simple in shape ovate or oval with a rounded or wedged shaped base and abruptly tapered tip. The flowers are individually tiny, creamy white in color and produced in a showy flat topped or convex inflorescence that is 3-6 cm broad, from Spring to early Summer each year. The fruit is rounded and sparsely hairy in the form of a blue drupe that is 4-7 mm in diameter, occurring on red colored stalks every Fall.
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org