Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Rough-Leaved Dogwood occurs primarily in the Midwest and the south-central states. It has rough pubescent leaves and bright white drupes; the latter disappear rapidly during the fall because of their attractiveness to wildlife. During the late spring or early summer, Rough-Leaved Dogwood produces cymes of flowers that are quite showy; they appear after the leaves have developed. An older scientific name for this species is Cornus asperifolia, which accounts for the common name. Other Cornus spp. (Dogwoods) can be distinguished from Rough-Leaved Dogwood by the shape of their leaves (more broad or more narrow), number of paired veins on each leaf, and/or color of their drupes (sometimes blue or red). Their leaves and young branchlets are usually less pubescent than those of Rough-Leaved Dogwood. Return
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Description

This native woody plant is a shrub or small tree up to 20' tall with ascending to spreading branches. A large specimen has a trunk with grey bark. This bark is covered with rough flattened scales that are taller than wide. The thin grey bark of branches is often covered with scattered small bumps. Young branchlets and twigs are reddish brown and pubescent. The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 2" across; they are ovate and smooth along their margins. The upper surface of each leaf is green, rough-textured, and sparingly covered with fine appressed hairs; there are 3-5 pairs of lateral veins that curve toward the outer margins of the leaf. The lower surface of each leaf is whitish green and densely short-pubescent (see photo). At the base of each leaf, there is a slender petiole up to 1" long. Cymes of white flowers develop from the axils of the leaves. Each cyme is about 2-4" across and either gently rounded or flattened at the top. Each white flower is about ¼" across; it has 4 lanceolate petals, 4 stamens, and a pistil with a single style. The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer for about 2-3 weeks. The flowers are replaced by white fleshy drupes, which ripen during the late summer or early fall. At this time, the peduncle and pedicels of the corymb become bright scarlet. Each drupe is about ¼" across and globoid in shape; it contains a single stone. The root system normally consists of a woody branching taproot. However, if this woody plant is subjected to disturbance, it may develop suckers or underground runners that send up vegetative shoots. These vegetative shoots can develop into a colony of multistemmed shrubs.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Rough-Leaved Dogwood is occasional to locally common in most areas of Illinois, except the NE, where it is absent or uncommon (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland rocky woodlands, openings in mesic woodlands, openings in floodplain woodlands, wooded areas along rivers or streams, savannas, woodland borders, and fence rows. This woody plant is one of the invaders of tallgrass prairies.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Cornus drummondii is native to North America and presently occurs from Ontario to South Dakota, south to eastern Texas, east to Georgia and north through western Tennessee and Kentucky (Sargent 1947, Fernald 1950, Wilson 1965, Stephens 1973, Soper and Heimburger 1982; see also Kartesz, 1999).

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Rough-Leaved Dogwood is occasional to locally common in most areas of Illinois, except the NE, where it is absent or uncommon (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland rocky woodlands, openings in mesic woodlands, openings in floodplain woodlands, wooded areas along rivers or streams, savannas, woodland borders, and fence rows. This woody plant is one of the invaders of tallgrass prairies.
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Comments: Characteristic habitats include limestone glades, river bluffs, woodland prairie margins, hillside pastures, sandy stream banks, river bottoms, intermittent streams and ravines of prairies, oak savannas and open woods. It may grow in clay (Soper and Heimburger 1982), silty-clay loam (Bragg and Hulbert 1976), or silty loam soils, and tolerates extremes in topography and moisture. Rough-leaved dogwood also grows along roadsides, in ditches, and in fencerows (Mohlenbrock and Voigt 1959, Wilson 1965). Occasionally it is planted in windbreaks (Carpenter 1940, Stephens 1973) and for wildlife food and habitat (Brinkman 1974).

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract various bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, Little Carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), Cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), Halictid bees, Masked bees (Hylaeus spp.), and Andrenid bees. Other insects visiting the flowers include predatory wasps, flies, butterflies, skippers, and beetles. Foliage and other parts of Cornus spp. (Dogwoods) are consumed by the caterpillars of several moth species (see Moth Table). Similarly, beetles, scales, mites, and other small invertebrates rely on Dogwoods as a source of food (see Insect Table). Because of their high caloric content, the drupes of Dogwoods are very attractive to the Wood Duck, upland gamebirds, and many songbirds; these birds can distribute the seeds across considerable distances (see the Bird Table for a listing of these species). Some mammals also eat the drupes, including the Black Bear, Fox Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, and White-Footed Mouse. Finally, White-Tailed Deer and Elk browse on the foliage and twigs of Dogwoods.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Rough-Leaved Dogwood in Illinois

Cornus drummondii (Rough-Leaved Dogwood)
(beetle activity is unspecified; information is limited; this observation is from MacRae)

Beetles
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera tubulus (McR), Anthaxia flavimana (McR)

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General Ecology

Populations: Dogwood invasion of grasslands from swales, ravines, and woodland edges of floodplains is accelerated by vegetative reproduction and tolerance to wind, full exposure or partial shade, and dry soils (Pound and Clements 1900, Costello 1931, Steyermark 1940, Albertson and Weaver 1945, Weaver 1965, Duxbury 1982). From the time of initial woody plant invasion of Kansas range study sites, C. drummondii increased coverage from 6% in 15 years to 54% in 45 years on slopes with rock outcroppings. It also became a dominant shrub during a 25 to 45 year period on other slopes and on lower loamy upland sites (Bragg 1974). Thickets may be of dogwood alone, or mixed with pre-occurring species such as smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) and coral berry (Symphori carpus orbiculatus) (Aikman 1928, Albertson and Weaver 1945, Bragg and Hulbert 1976, Ewert pers. comm.).

As density within a dogwood thicket increases, groundcover vegetation decreases and may become entirely absent (Aikman 1928, Weaver 1965). Annual weeds sometimes grow beneath dogwood (Duxbury 1982, Nyboer pers. comm. 1983), and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) may invade dogwood thickets (Albertson and Weaver 1945, Aikman 1928). Dogwood may persist and sometimes dominate the understory of woods (Duxbury 1982).

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Persistence: PERENNIAL

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Reproduction

Sexual reproduction: These dogwoods probably reach sexual maturity in three to four years. There is one viable seed per drupe in all four species (Stephens 1973). A complex of hybrids exists between C. drummondii, C. racemosa (C. foemina subsp. racemosa) and C. foemina (subsp. foemina). The hybrids have high pollen viability, robust growth, and fruit sometimes larger and more plentiful than that of the parent (Wilson 1965).

Seed dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by a variety of birds, including crows, vireos, redheaded woodpeckers and bluebirds (Ridley 1930), autumn through winter (Stephens 1973). Availability of perching sites may be important in dispersal.

Germination: Germination usually occurs in the spring following seed production and dispersal to a favorable site, but may be delayed a year due to a dormant embryo, hard pericarp (Brinkman 1974), and possible chemical inhibition by the pulp (Goodwin 1948). Mechanical and chemical scarification and stratification techniques are used commercially to stimulate germination in dogwood (Brinkman 1974). Some seeds are injured or overstratified in the bird gut and some are left unscathed or understratified (Krefting and Roe 1949). Germination tests of scarified and stratified C. drummondii seeds have shown a 25% germination in three samples after 50 days (Brinkman 1974).

Seedling establishment: Some Cornus spp. shrub seedlings are tolerant of variable light intensities, and may become established in woodland edges, within woods, or in open areas (Gatherum et al. 1963, Smith 1975). Seedlings may invade grasslands alone or with other woody plants (McClain pers. comm.).

Asexual reproduction: C. drummondii, C. racemosa, C. stolonifera and C. obliqua reproduce most successfully by vegetative growth following seedling establishment. Thickets may expand by adventitious underground shoot growth or rhizomatous growth (Stephens 1973, Wilson 1965, Smith 1975).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread, abundant shrub or small tree of midwestern and south-central U.S. states and southern Ontario, Canada.

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Global Short Term Trend: Increase of 10 to >25%

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Threats

Comments: Several species of Cornus are natural early successional components of many woodland ecosystems in North America. They have many adaptions that enable them to take advantage of open areas, including a large number of seeds, vigorous seedlings and rapid subsequent growth, dispersal by birds, and high tolerance to adverse conditions such as drought and shade (Smith 1975, citing Auclair and Cottam 1971). Rapid and extensive cloning by rhizomatous growth allows dogwood species to create dense thickets which crowd out desired grasses, sedges and forbs, and alter wildlife habitat. Invasion of dogwood, along with other woody species, into prairies and wetlands became more extensive mainly due to the post-settlement decline in wildfires.

Woody plant invasion of floodplains is a concern in some areas, particularly in the western U.S., where stream diversion has greatly reduced the flow in rivers. Water diversion can reduce river flow to the extent that dogwoods and other woody plants invade the floodplain, reducing river channel width and drastically altering wildlife habitat. For example, woody plant invasion, including C. drummondii, willows (Salix spp.), green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), has reduced channel area of the Platte River in Nebraska by 50-85%, resulting in a loss of up to 97% of the roosting habitat for sandhill and whooping cranes and many other migratory birds (Currier 1987).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

This adaptable woody plant is typically found in partial sun and moist to slightly dry conditions. The soil can contain loam, clay-loam, or rocky material.
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Economic Uses

Uses: LANDSCAPING, Cultivated ornamental

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Wikipedia

Cornus drummondii

Flower cluster detail

Cornus drummondii, commonly known as the Roughleaf Dogwood, is a small deciduous tree that is native primarily to the Great Plains and Midwestern regions of the United States. It is also found around the Mississippi River.[2] It is uncommon in the wild, and is mostly found around forest borders. The roughleaf dogwood is used as a buffer strip around parking lots, in the median of highways and near the decks and patios of homes. It can grow to a height of 15 to 25 feet (4.6 - 7.6 m) with a spread of 10 to 15 feet (3.1 - 4.6 m). The roughleaf dogwood flowers during the summer months. It produces off-white four-petaled open flowers that are followed by small white fruits that ripen from August to October. These dogwoods can form a dense thicket that is used as a hedge, border or cover for wildlife. At least forty species of birds are known to feed on the fruits of the Roughleaf Dogwood.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Taxon: Cornus drummondii C. A. Mey". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1999-05-10. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Cornus Drummondii Range Map". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  3. ^ Gilman, Edward F.; Dennis G. Watson. "Cornus drummondii: Roughleaf Dogwood". Electronic Data Information System. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: As treated here (following Kartesz, 1994 and 1999, and most other recent floristic authors), there are two species of roughleaf dogwood. Cornus asperifolia is a fairly rare species of the Southeastern U.S., and Cornus drummondii a widespread, abundant species primarily in the Midwest, central South, and Appalachians. The name "Cornus asperifolia" has also been applied (as by Small, 1933) to the Midwestern species at the exclusion of the southeastern one. If the midwestern plants are treated as a subspecies or variety of Cornus asperifolia, (e.g., Cornus asperifolia var. drummondii), then it is correct to use the name "Cornus asperifolia" collectively for both kinds of roughleaf dogwood. All recent American floristic works consulted use the name Cornus asperifolia for the Southeastern plant, and Cornus drummondii for the Midwestern and South-Central plant. However, the use of "Cornus asperifolia" or "Cornus asperifolia var. drummondii" for the midwestern plant persists in some horticultural literature and nursery catalogs. Larry Morse, 29Jan00.

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