Range and Habitat in Illinois
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
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).
Range and Habitat in Illinois
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).
Flower-Visiting Insects of Rough-Leaved Dogwood in Illinois
(insect activity is unspecified; observations are from MacRae and Smith et al.)
Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica (Smh); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile xylocopoides (Smh)
Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena morrisonella (Smh)
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera tubulus (McR), Anthaxia flavimana (McR)
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).
Life History and Behavior
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).
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
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.
Global Short Term Trend: Increase of 10 to >25%
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).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Uses: LANDSCAPING, Cultivated ornamental
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. 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.
- "Taxon: Cornus drummondii C. A. Mey". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1999-05-10. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Cornus Drummondii Range Map". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Gilman, Edward F.; Dennis G. Watson. "Cornus drummondii: Roughleaf Dogwood". Electronic Data Information System. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
Names and 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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