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Overview

Brief Summary

Cornaceae -- Dogwood family

    B. F. McLemore

    Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is one of America's  most popular ornamental trees. Known to most people simply as  dogwood, it has other common names, including boxwood and cornel.  The species name florida is Latin for flowering, but the  showy petal-like bracts are not in fact flowers. The bright red  fruit of this fast-growing short-lived tree are poisonous to  humans but provide a great variety of wildlife with food. The  wood is smooth, hard and close-textured and now used for  specialty products.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Comprehensive Description

Description

General: Dogwood Family (Cornaceae). Flowering dogwood is a deciduous multi-branched shrub or small tree, characterized by a rounded crown and horizontal branches that spread wider than its height. Flowering dogwood is typically 5 to 15 m tall. The bark on mature trees is broken into small square blocks that give the stem an “alligator” appearance. Leaves are opposite, simple, medium-green in color, 7.6 to 15 cm long, and less than 7 cm wide. The veins follow the elliptic curve of the leaf (arcuate). Autumn foliage turns red or purple. The flowers are yellow, very small, and clustered into inflorescences that are surrounded by 4 large white (pink) bracts. Each bract has a rounded notch on the outer edge. The fruit are yellow to red berrylike drupes that contain one to two cream-colored, ellipsoid seeds. Flowers appear between March and June, with or before the leaves, and persist for 2 to 4 weeks. Fruits ripen in September and October.

Key characteristics of flowering dogwood are its opposite leaves with arcuate venation, large showy flowers (bracts), onion-shaped terminal flower buds, and alligator bark on mature trees.

Distribution: Flowering dogwood is native to the northeastern and southeastern United States. It occurs from Maine, south to Florida and west to eastern Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and southern Michigan. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site (http://plants.usda.gov).

Habitat: Flowering dogwood is an important understory species in the eastern deciduous and southern coniferous forests. It is also found on floodplains, slopes, bluffs, ravines, gum swamps, along fencerows, and in old-field communities. It is mentioned in 22 of the 90 Society of American Foresters forest cover types including jack pine, beech-sugar maple, eastern hemlock, oak-hickory, and prairie.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Comments

Flowering Dogwood is one of the more attractive small trees or shrubs to bloom during the spring. Because of its unique petaloid bracts, there is really nothing else that resembles it in natural areas of the Midwest. It also differs from other dogwoods in the area by its shiny red fruit and the alligator-hide patterning of its trunk bark. Widely grown cultivars of Flowering Dogwood are similar to the trees in the wild – they tend to differ by having petaloid bracts that are wider and showier than those of the wild trees. Also, some cultivars have pink bracts or variegated leaves.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This native woody shrub or tree is about 10-30' tall with ascending to spreading branches and a somewhat irregular crown. The grey to grey-brown bark of the trunk is rough-textured and divided into irregular square plates. The branches are smooth-textured with scattered round lenticels (air pores). The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 2½" across; they are ovate or ovate-elliptic in shape and smooth along their margins. The upper sides of the leaves are medium to dark green and hairless, while their lower sides are light green with fine silky hairs (at least along the veins, if not in-between). Each leaf has 4-6 lateral veins on each side of the central vein; these veins gradually curve inward toward the tip of the leaf. Tight clusters of yellowish green flowers are produced from the tips of young branchlets during mid- to late spring. Each flower cluster is surrounded by 4 petaloid bracts (petal-like modified leaves). The typical flower cluster and its petaloid bracts span about 4-5" across; the flower cluster in the center is no more than ¾" across. Each bract is white (sometimes tinted pink), oval to obovate in shape, and slightly notched toward its outer edge. Each flower is less than ¼" across, consisting of 4 lanceolate petals, a short-tubular calyx with 4 triangular teeth, 4 stamens, and a 2-celled ovary with a single style. While the flowers remain in bloom for only a short period of time, the petaloid bracts remain attractive for about a month. The flowers are replaced by a dense cluster of ovoid red fruits (drupes). Each fruit is about ½" long; it contains 1-2 large seeds (stones), while its flesh is thin and sour-tasting. The root system consists of a woody and branching taproot. This small tree reproduces by reseeding itself. The leaves change color to an attractive burgundy or purplish red during the fall. Cultivation
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Alternative names

American boxwood, arrowwood, Benthamia florida, boxwood, cornel, cornelian tree, Cornus candidissima, Cornus florida forma pendula, Cornus florida forma pluribracteata, Cornus florida forma xanthocarpa, Cornus florida var. pendula, Cornus florida var. rosea, Cornus florida var. rubra, Cynoxylon floridum, dogwood, eastern flowering dogwood, white cornel, white dogwood.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Flowering Dogwood is native to the southern half of Illinois, where it is uncommon to occasional. In the northern half of the state, it is absent, except as a cultivated landscape tree or a cultivar that has escaped (see Distribution Map). Habitats include open woodlands, woodland edges and openings, bluffs and wooded slopes, savannas, limestone or sandstone glades, and fence rows. Because of its showy floral bracts, this small tree is often planted in restorations of woodlands.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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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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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Flowering dogwood grows from central Florida northward to southwestern
Maine [32,65,87] and extends westward through southern Ontario to
central Michigan, central Illinois, Missouri, southeastern Kansas,
eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas [57,65]. The variety urbiniana (or
subspecies) is found in the mountains of Nuevo Leon and Veracruz in
eastern Mexico [27,65,79]. The form xanthocarpa occurs in parts of New
York [79].
  • 27. Ferguson, I. K. 1966. The Cornaceae in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 47: 106-116. [7616]
  • 32. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239]
  • 57. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 79. Rogers, Lynn. 1976. Effects of mast and berry crop failures on survival, growth, and reproductive success of black bears. Transactions, North American Wildlife Conference. 41: 431-438. [8951]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]

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Occurrence in North America

AL AR CT DE FL GA IN IL KS KY
LA ME MD MA MI MS MO NH NJ NY
NC OH OK PA RI SC TN TX VT WV
ON MEXICO

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The range of flowering dogwood extends from extreme southwestern  Maine west to New York, extreme southern Ontario, central  Michigan, central Illinois, and central Missouri; south to  extreme southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, east Texas; and east  to north Florida. A variety also grows in the mountains of Nuevo  León and Veracruz, Mexico (11).

   
  -The native range of flowering dogwood.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Adaptation

The USDA hardiness zones for flowering dogwood is 5 to 9. Flowering dogwood trees grow best in course to medium textured, well-drained soils with a pH range of 6 to 7. They are sensitive to rapidly changing soil temperature and are most abundant in temperature-consistent woodland soils. Although they are tolerant of seasonal dry periods, they are not tolerant of severe drought or heavy, saturated soils. The inability to grow on extremely dry sites is attributed to their shallow root system.

Flowering dogwood is an indicator of rich soil (mesic sites), but smaller trees will occur on more xeric sites. Trees growing in the mesic sites are more susceptible to dogwood anthracnose (see Pests and Potential Problems). In the future, flowering dogwood may only be found on poor, dry sites.

Partial or broken shade is best, but flowering dogwood can tolerate full sun. It does best with some shade in the south and full sun in the north. Shaded trees are less dense, grow more quickly and taller, and have poor flowering and fall color. Trees exposed to more sun are stouter, bushier, and produce more flowers.

Flowering dogwood is not tolerant of stresses such as heat, drought, pollution, or salt. These stresses make flowering dogwood more susceptible to disease, pests, and other problems.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: root crown, shrub, tree

Flowering dogwood is a multibranched shrub or small tree that commonly
reaches 16 to 49 feet (5-15 m) in height [31,76]. In the South, plants
may grow 40 feet (12 m) tall with a d.b.h. of 18 inches (46 cm) [61],
but in the North, flowering dogwood more often grows as a multibranched
shrub, reaching heights of 10 to 13 feet (3-4 m) [86]. Flowering
dogwood is characterized by a broad, rounded crown [21,32]. Several
trunks may develop from a single root crown [76]. Rooting depths are
generally shallow and often less than 3 feet (1 m) [1]. The large,
simple, opposite leaves generally average 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) in
length [61].

Fruit is a glabrous, smooth, yellow to red, berrylike drupe [87] that
averages 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) in length and are borne in clusters of two to
six [32,79]. Flowering dogwood fruit tends to be heavier at higher
latitudes [99]. Each drupe contains one to two cream-colored, ellipsoid
seeds averaging 0.3 to 0.4 inch (7-9 mm) in length [33,87].

Important distinctions between commonly recognized varieties and forms
are summarized below [60,65,79]:

var. urbiniana - bracts narrower, twigs grayer, with
larger drupes.
var. pringlei - bracts fused.
f. xanthocarpa - drupes yellow.
f. rubra - red involucral bracts.
  • 1. Abrams, Marc D. 1990. Adaptations and responses to drought in Quercus species of North America. Tree Physiology. 7(1-4): 227-238. [14065]
  • 21. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 32. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239]
  • 33. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 60. Lowrey, L. R. 1990. Cornus florida var. pringlei. American Nurseryman. 172(6): 142. [14098]
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 76. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]
  • 79. Rogers, Lynn. 1976. Effects of mast and berry crop failures on survival, growth, and reproductive success of black bears. Transactions, North American Wildlife Conference. 41: 431-438. [8951]
  • 86. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]
  • 99. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Tampa, FL: University Presses of Florida, University of South Florida. 472 p. [13125]

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Flowering Dogwood is native to the southern half of Illinois, where it is uncommon to occasional. In the northern half of the state, it is absent, except as a cultivated landscape tree or a cultivar that has escaped (see Distribution Map). Habitats include open woodlands, woodland edges and openings, bluffs and wooded slopes, savannas, limestone or sandstone glades, and fence rows. Because of its showy floral bracts, this small tree is often planted in restorations of woodlands.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: hardwood, mesic

Flowering dogwood grows in mesic deciduous woods, on floodplains,
slopes, bluffs, and in ravines [33,87,100]. It also occurs in gum
swamps, along fencerows, and in oldfield communities [15]. Growth is
often poor on dry, upland slopes and ridges [65]. Flowering dogwood
grows as an understory associate in many hardwood and conifer forests
throughout eastern North America [65].

Plant associates: In addition to those identified in the Distribution
and Occurrence slot, common overstory associates include scarlet oak
(Quercus coccinea), southern red oak (Q. falcata), post oak (Q.
stellata), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), slash pine (P. elliottii),
Virginia pine (P. virginiana), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), sweetgum
(Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera),
sassafras (Sassafras albidum), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), red
maple (Acer rubrum) [37,65]. Understory associates are numerous and
often include serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), blueberries (Vaccinium
spp.), and brambles (Rubus spp.) [8,46].

Soils: Flowering dogwood occurs on soils that vary from moist, deep
soils to light-textured, well-drained upland soils [65] but most
commonly occurs on coarse to medium-textured acidic soils [2,86].
Abundance generally increases with better drainage and lighter soil
textures. It is often virtually absent on heavy, poorly drained soils
[65]. Soil pH generally ranges from 6 to 7 [28]. Common parent
materials include gravel, sandstone, and limestone [87].

Elevation: In the southern Appalachians, flowering dogwood grows from
sea level to 4,931 feet (0-1,500 m) [22] but does best on flats and
lower or middle slopes from 1,000 to 4,000 feet (304-1,219 m) in
elevation [28]. In the Great Smoky Mountains flowering dogwood grows
below 3,000 feet ( less than 914 m) [96].
  • 100. Smith, J. D., ed. 1989. Killer fungus threatens dogwood trees in Virginia national forests. Daily News Digest. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1 p. [8845]
  • 15. Clewell, Andre F. 1985. Guide to the vascular plants of the Florida Panhandle. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University Press. 605 p. [13124]
  • 2. Archambault, Louis; Barnes, Burton V.; Witter, John A. 1990. Landscape ecosystems of disturbed oak forests of southeastern Michigan, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1570-1582. [13448]
  • 22. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 28. Fowells, H. A., compiler. 1965. Silvics of forest trees of the United States. Agric. Handb. 271. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 762 p. [12442]
  • 33. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 37. Hall, Christine N.; Kuss, Fred R. 1989. Vegetation alteration along trails in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Biological Conservation. 48: 211-227. [9306]
  • 46. Johnson, Leo J.; Law, Jay R. 1989. A five year record of change for a declining scarlet oak stand in the Missouri Ozarks. In: Rink, George; Budelsky, Carl A., eds. Proceedings, 7th central hardwood conference; 1989 March 5-8; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-132. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 103-107. [9373]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 8. Braun, E. Lucy. 1936. Forests of the Illinoian till plain of southwestern Ohio. Ecological Monographs. 6(1): 91-149. [8379]
  • 86. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]
  • 96. Williams, Arthur B. 1936. The composition and dynamics of a beech-maple climax community. Ecological Monographs. 6(3): 318-408. [8346]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: codominant

Flowering dogwood commonly grows as a scattered understory species in
many eastern deciduous or coniferous forests. It has been identified as
and important understory dominant or codominant in several eastern
hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and white oak (Quercus alba) communities.
Spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) has been listed as a
codominant. Flowering dogwood is included as an indicator or dominant
in the following community types (cts) classifications:

Area Classification Authority

SC general veg. cts Jones 1990

Shen. Nat'l. Park, VA general veg. cts Hall & Kuss 1989

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES39 Prairie

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

1 Jack pine
23 Eastern hemlock
44 Chestnut oak
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
53 White oak
60 Beech - sugar maple
70 Longleaf pine
75 Shortleaf pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine
83 Longleaf pine - slash pine
110 Black oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K083 Cedar glade
K095 Great Lakes pine forest
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K103 Mixed mesophytic forest
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest

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Soils and Topography

The species grows on soils varying from deep and moist along minor  streams to light textured and well drained in the uplands. It is  found most frequently on soils with a pH of 6 to 7 (15). Dominant  soil orders (with typical suborders in parentheses) in the range  of flowering dogwood, in decreasing order of importance, include  Ultisols (Udults and Aquults) in the South and East, Inceptisols  (Ochrepts) in the Appalachians, Alfisols (Udalfs) in the Midwest,  Spodosols (Orthods and Aquods) in New England and Florida, and  Entisols (Psamments) in scattered areas of the Southeast (14).  Seedling survival is low and the species is virtually absent on  poorly drained clay soils. The frequency of flowering dogwood in  forest stands increases as drainage improves and soils become  lighter in texture.

    Flowering dogwood grows well on flats and on lower or middle  slopes, but not very well on upper slopes and ridges. The  inability to grow on extremely dry sites is attributed to its  relatively shallow root system. It is one of the most numerous  species in the understory of loblolly pine and loblolly  pine-hardwood stands in the South. As these stands progress  toward the hardwood climax, dogwood remains an important  subordinate species.

    Flowering dogwood is considered a soil improver (7). Its leaf  litter decomposes more rapidly than that of most other species,  thus making its mineral constituents more readily available.  Dogwood foliage decomposes three times faster than hickory (Carya  spp.); four times faster than yellow-poplar (Liriodendron  tulipifera), eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana),  and white ash (Fraxinus americana); and 10 times  faster than sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and oak (Quercus  spp.) (15). In addition to its rapid decomposition, dogwood  litter is an important source of calcium, containing 2.0 to 3.5  percent of this element on an oven-dry basis. The range of major  mineral elements, in milligrams per kilogram of foliage (parts  per million), is as follows: potassium, 4,000 to 11,000;  phosphorus, 1,800 to 3,200; calcium, 27,000 to 42,000; magnesium,  3,000 to 5,000; and sulfur, 3,800 to 7,000. The range of minor  elements, in mg/kg (p/m), is boron, 23; copper, 7 to 9; iron, 240  to 380; manganese, 30 to 50; and zinc, 3 to 28 (15).

    Dogwood leaves concentrate fluorine and may contain 40 mg/kg (p/m)  compared to only 8 mg/kg (p/m) for apple (Malus spp.) and  peach (Prunus spp.) leaves grown under similar  conditions. In one study, fluorine increased from 72 mg/kg (p/m)  in June to 103 mg/kg (p/m) in October, while that of black cherry  (Prunus serotina) increased from 5.6 to 11.3 mg/kg (p/m)  (15).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

Precipitation within the range of flowering dogwood varies from  760 mm (30 in) in the North to 2030 mm (80 in) in the southern  Appalachians. Warm season precipitation varies from about 510 mm  (20 in) in southern Michigan to 860 mm (34 in) in northern  Florida, and annual snowfall ranges from none in Florida to more  than 127 cm (50 in) in the North (15). Average annual temperature  is 21° C (70° F) in the South and 7° C (45°  F) in the North, with temperature extremes of 46° to -34°  C (115° to -30° F). Growing season ranges from 160 days  in southern Michigan to more than 300 days in Florida (12).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Dispersal

Establishment

Flowering dogwood is intolerant of extended drought periods, especially during the first year after planting. Daily watering is necessary for the first few weeks following planting. After one month, watering should be reduced to two times per week and continue for one year. Establishment takes 6 to 12 months for each inch of trunk diameter. Larger trees benefit from irrigation during the second year.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers attract various small bees and flies, including Halictid bees, Andrenid bees, bee flies, and Syrphid flies. These insects seek nectar primarily, although some of the bees also collect pollen. Other insects feed on the leaves and flowers, or bore through the twigs and branches; these species are listed in the Insect Table. The red fruits have a high fat content, therefore they are attractive to many songbirds; some of these species are listed in the Bird Table. Various mammals also feed on the fruit, including the Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, and White-Footed Mouse. White-Tailed Deer and the Cottontail Rabbit browse on the bark, twigs, and buds of Flowering Dogwood during the winter. Like other dogwoods, Flowering Dogwood is valuable to many kinds of wildlife.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Flower-Visiting Insects of Flowering Dogwood in Illinois

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen, other insects suck nectar or feed on pollen; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Krombein et al. and MacRae as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus griseocallis sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada illinoiensis sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia pumila sn cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn, Augochlora purus purus sn cp, Augochlorella striata sn cp, Halictus confusus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn, Lasioglossum foxii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum obscurus sn cp, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn, Lasioglossum zephyrus sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena carlini sn, Andrena forbesii (Kr), Andrena imitatrix imitatrix sn cp fq, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata sn cp fq, Andrena rugosa sn

Wasps
Vespidae: Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus

Flies
Syrphidae: Blera umbratilis, Toxomerus marginatus; Bombyliidae: Bombylius fascipennis, Bombylius major fq; Lonchaeidae: Earomyia aberrans

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Erynnis juvenalis

Beetles
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera neglecta (McR), Acmaeodera ornata (McR), Acmaeodera tubulus (McR); Cerambycidae: Molorchus bimaculatus

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Foodplant / pathogen
Discula destructiva infects and damages live stem of Cornus florida
Other: major host/prey

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Associated Forest Cover

The wide geographical range of flowering dogwood, and the diverse  soils on which it is found, is indicative of a large number of  associated species. Dogwood is specifically mentioned in 22 of  the 90 Society of American Foresters forest cover types (3).  Cover types range from Jack Pine (Type 1) and Beech - Sugar Maple  (Type 60) in the North to Longleaf Pine (Type 70) in the South.  Common associates include white, red, and black oaks Quercus  alba, Q. falcata, Q. velutina), yellow-poplar, sassafras (Sassafras  albidum), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweetgum  (Liquidambar styraciflua), and longleaf, loblolly,  shortleaf, slash, and Virginia pines (Pinus palustris, P.  taeda, P, echinata, P. elliottii, and P. virginiana).  A complete list of species found with dogwood would include a  majority of the trees growing in the Eastern United States.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Because of its thin bark, flowering  dogwood is readily injured by fire. Its profuse sprouting ability  may actually increase the number of stems in fire-damaged stands,  however (12). Flooding also is detrimental to flowering dogwood.

    Little is known of the pest status of insects associated with wild  flowering dogwoods, but many insects have been identified  attacking cultivated ornamentals. The dogwood borer (Synanthedon  scitula) is a noteworthy pest of cultivated flowering  dogwood. Other damaging insects include flatheaded borers (Chrysobothris  azurea and Agrilus cephalicus), dogwood twig borer  (Oberea tripunctata), the twig girdler (Oncideres  cingulata), scurfy scale (Chionaspis lintneri), and  dogwood scale (C. corni) (1). Dogwood club gall, a  clublike swelling on small twigs, is caused by infestations of  midge larvae (Resseliella clavula) and is a serious  problem in some areas (10). The redhumped caterpillar (Schizura  concinna), a tussock moth (Dasychira basiflava), io moth  (Automeris io), and scarab beetles (Phyllophaga spp.)  are among the numerous leaf feeders attacking dogwood (1).  Introduced pests of flowering dogwood include the Japanese weevil  (Pseudocneorhinus bifasciatus) and Asiatic oak weevil  (Crytepistomus castaneus) (8).

    Basal stem canker, caused by the fungus Phytophthora cactorummay girdle the tree and is the most lethal disease. Target  cankers (Nectria galligena) sometimes occur on the trunk  and limbs, and Armillaria mellea has been found on  dogwoods. Leafspot (Cercospora cornicola) attacks  seedlings, and Meliodogyne incognita causes severe root  galling, associated with dieback and premature leaf fall in  seedlings. Twig blight, caused by the fungus Myxosporium  nitidum, may cause dieback of small twigs. Leaf spots and  dieback of flowers are caused by Botrytis cinerea, Elsinoe  corni, and Septoria cornicola, while Ascochyta  cornicola may result in shrivelling and blackening of the  leaves (7). Verticillium wilt (Verticillium albo-atrum) attacks  dogwood (15), and the cherry leafroll, tobacco ringspot, and  tomato ringspot viruses have been isolated from dogwood leaves  (13).

    Noninfectious diseases include sunscald, mechanical and drought  injury, and freezing. Dogwood reproduction is often browsed  heavily by deer and rabbits.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: basal area, cover, crown fire, density, prescribed burn, prescribed fire, surface fire, tree

Cover: The cover of flowering dogwood was estimated at 33.7 percent of
the total basal area on unburned plots in a loblolly pine community of
North Carolina [70]. After a surface fire, crown cover was reduced to
14.6 percent of the total basal area and accounted for only 10.2 percent
after a crown fire. Specific results are as follows [70]:

density % freq. % basal area

unburned 13.1 100 4.47
surface fire 7.3 80 0.80
crown fire 10.6 90 0.70

Fruit/seed production: Landers [53] reported that fruit production may
be greater during the first year after fire. Average fruit yields were
as follows after a winter prescribed burn in the Southeast [88]:

1973 1975
(preburn) (1 yr. after burn)

burn 0.86 30.75
control 1.12 9.21

On the George Washington National Forest, West Virginia, a spring prescribed
fire increased total flowering dogwood density in a mixed-hardwood forest.
Average flowering dogwood seedling densities before fire and in postfire
year 5 were 605 and 737 seedlings/acre, respectively; flowering dogwood sprout
densities were 1,158 sprouts/acre before and 1,553 sprouts/acre 5 years after
the fire. See the Research Paper of Wendel and Smith's [104] study for details
on the fire prescription and fire effects on flowering dogwood and 6 other
tree species.

Cushwa and others [17] reported postfire decreases in seed production in
Georgia.

The Research Project Summary Effects of surface fires in a mixed red and
eastern white pine stand in Michigan
provides information on prescribed
fire and postfire response of plant community species, including flowering
dogwood, that was not available when this species review was written.
  • 104. Wendel, G. W.; Smith, H. Clay. 1986. Effects of a prescribed fire in a central Appalachian oak-hickory stand. NE-RP-594. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 8 p. [73936]
  • 17. Cushwa, Charles T.; Czuhai, Eugene; Cooper, Robert W.; Julian, William H. 1969. Burning clearcut openings in loblolly pine to improve wildlife habitat. Georgia Forest Res. Pap. 61. Macon, GA: Georgia Forest Research Council. 5 p. [12151]
  • 53. Landers, J. Larry. 1987. Prescribed burning for managing wildlife in southeastern pine forests. In: Dickson, James G.; Maughan, O. Eugene, eds. Managing southern forests for wildlife and fish: a proceedings; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-65. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station: 19-27. [11562]
  • 70. Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69. [9919]
  • 88. Swan, Frederick R., Jr. 1970. Post-fire response of four plant communities in south-central New York state. Ecology. 51(6): 1074-1082. [3446]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, fire frequency, fire severity, frequency, hardwood, severity

Flowering dogwood usually sprouts profusely from the stump or root crown
after plants are top-killed or damaged by fire [31,65]. Specific
postfire response is related to fire severity and intensity, season of
burn, site factors, and fire frequency. Postfire recovery is generally
more rapid after surface fires than after crown fires [70] [see
Qualification and Discussion of Plant Response to Fire].

In south-central New York, Swan [89] reported an average of 7.2 sprouts
per top-killed stem. Postfire increases in sprout numbers have been
reported in oak-hickory stands of Missouri and in upland hardwood stands
of northern Alabama [45,59,65]. Prefire frequency of flowering dogwood
was measured at 1, with stem densities of 153 per acre (378/ha). Ten
years after fire, frequency had climbed to 9, with stem densities of 267
per acre (660/ha) [59]. Increases in stem density were recorded after 2
burns in an oak-pine stand of Kentucky [98]. However, frequent fires at
short intervals can reduce the relative number of flowering dogwood
stems. Comparisons of flowering dogwood on an annually burned plot and
on an adjacent plot left undisturbed for 15 years are as follows [23]:

# stems/acre rel. dom. % rel. dens. % freq. %

15 yr. 115 2 73 5
annual burn 8 < 1 13 7
  • 23. Engstrom, R. Todd; Crawford, Robert L.; Baker, W. Wilson. 1984. Breeding bird populations in relation to changing forest structure following fire exclusion: a 15-year study. Wilson Bulletin. 96(3): 437-450. [9873]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 45. Huntley, Jimmy C.; McGee, Charles E. 1981. Timber and wildlife implications of fire in young upland hardwoods. In: Barnett, James P., ed. Proceedings, 1st biennial southern silvicultural research conference; 1980 November 6-7; Atlanta, GA. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-34. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station: 56-66. [12080]
  • 59. Loomis, Robert M. 1977. Wildfire effects on an oak-hickory forest in southeast Missouri. Res. Note NC-219. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 4 p. [8738]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 70. Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69. [9919]
  • 89. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573]
  • 98. Winstead, Joe E.; Smith, Burton J.; Wardell, Gordon I. 1977. Fruit weight clines in populations of ash, ironwood, cherry, dogwood and maple. Castanea. 42: 56-60. [3755]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the terms: frequency, severity

Hodgkins [43] observed that fire-caused mortality in small hardwoods is
related to diameter, season of burn, weather, frequency of fire, and the
amount of heat received at the ground line. In relatively hot, dry
portions of eastern Texas, flowering dogwood was killed by winter,
spring, and fall burns repeated after 2 years [43]. Hot annual summer
fires may be necessary to kill small hardwoods in moist areas of the
Southeast. Gill and Healy [31] reported that flowering dogwood can
survive infrequent low severity winter fires when plants are at least 10
to 15 feet (3-5 m) in height.

Fire-caused mortality of flowering dogwood is correlated with the amount
of heat received at the cambium. The mean time required for the cambium
to reach lethal temperatures (approximately 140 degrees F [60 degrees
C]) has been reported as follows [39]:

bark thickness seconds required for cambium
(in inches) to reach 140 degrees F

0.20 30.4
0.30 59.4
0.40 126.2
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 39. Hare, Robert C. 1965. Contribution of bark to fire resistance of southern trees. Journal of Forestry. 63(4): 248-251. [9915]
  • 43. Hodgkins, Earl J. 1958. Effects of fire on undergrowth vegetation in upland southern pine forests. Ecology. 39(1): 36-46. [7632]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: prescribed burn

Flowering dogwood has been variously described as a fire-tolerant [53]
and fire-intolerant species [34]. Its bark is among the thinnest of all
eastern trees [40], and mature individuals are readily damaged by fire
[65]. Approximately 50 percent of all flowering dogwood stems were
top-killed by fire in south-central New York [89] and 58 percent
mortality was reported after a prescribed burn in a 22-year old loblolly
pine plantation in Tennessee [101]. All aboveground portions of the
plants died within 1 year of a fire in the Northeast [31].
  • 101. Miller, James H. 1990. Streamline basal application of herbicide for small-stem hardwood control. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 14(4): 161-165. [13538]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 34. Grelen, Harold E. 1983. Comparison of seasons and frequencies of burning in a young slash pine plantation. Res. Pap. SO-185. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p. [10996]
  • 40. Harmon, Mark E. 1984. Survival of trees after low-intensity surface fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecology. 65(3): 796-802. [10997]
  • 53. Landers, J. Larry. 1987. Prescribed burning for managing wildlife in southeastern pine forests. In: Dickson, James G.; Maughan, O. Eugene, eds. Managing southern forests for wildlife and fish: a proceedings; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-65. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station: 19-27. [11562]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 89. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: caudex, root crown

survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex
off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: root crown

Flowering dogwood is well adapted to periodic fire [50]. Plants
commonly sprout from the root crown after aboveground vegetation is
damaged or destroyed. Seedling establishment by means of bird and
mammal-dispersed seed is also commonly observed.

Flowering dogwood can persist in some fire-maintained seral communities
[67]. In the southern Appalachians, vegetative shifts toward scarlet
oak, hickories, red maple, sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), and flowering
dogwood have been reported after fire where preburn communities were
dominated by yellow poplar, chestnut oak, northern red oak (Quercus
rubra), and white oak [29].
  • 29. Garren, Kenneth H. 1943. Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States. Botanical Review. 9: 617-654. [9517]
  • 50. Komarek, E. V. 1982. Economic and environmental evaluation of prescribed burning and alternatives. Report on Contract No. 53-43ZP-1-00839. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 192 p. [12337]
  • 67. Monk, Carl D. 1968. Successional and environmental relationships of the forest vegetation of north central Florida. The American Midland Naturalist. 79(2): 441-457. [10847]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, hardwood, tree

Flowering dogwood is very tolerant of shade and is capable of persisting
beneath a forest canopy [65]. Although it commonly grows as a
suppressed understory tree, it is also important in gap closure and
grows in several strata in stands with a multicanopied structure [93].
Flowering dogwood is physiologically plastic [93] and can also occupy
seral communities such as certain clearcuts and oldfield communities
[3,64]. It also grows in seral, fire-maintained sandhill communities
[67]. McDonnell [64] observed that flowering dogwood was absent until
the third year after fields were abandoned but continued to invade
through the twelfth year of the study. Scattered patches of flowering
dogwood are common in young fields [64]. Because seed is primarily
bird-dispersed, seedling concentrations often occur beneath powerlines
and poles.

Flowering dogwood occurs in climax magnolia-beech, magnolia-holly
hammock communities, and southern mixed hardwood stands in the South
[26,67,75]. It is present in old-growth white oak forests of
southwestern Pennsylvania and in old-growth beech-oak stands of South
Carolina [47]. In parts of the South, flowering dogwood commonly grows
in pine stands which are seral to climax hardwood forests [28].
Billings [7] reported that it commonly appears when shortleaf pine
stands are 40 to 50 years old. Flowering dogwood is typically an
important transitional species as pine is replaced by hardwoods in
southern mixed hardwood forests, but has been slow to reinvade these
types of stands in central Florida [41].
  • 26. Feldman, Thomas D. 1987. Fire control and ecological succession in McCarty Woods, Hernando County , Florida. Florida Geographer. 21: 15-19. [8689]
  • 28. Fowells, H. A., compiler. 1965. Silvics of forest trees of the United States. Agric. Handb. 271. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 762 p. [12442]
  • 3. Artigas, Francisco J.; Boerner, Ralph E. J. 1989. Advance regeneration and seed banking of woody plants in Ohio pine plantations: implications for landscape change. Landscape Ecology. 2(3): 139-150. [13633]
  • 41. Hartnett, David C.; Krofta, Douglas M. 1989. Fifty-five years of post-fire succession in a southern mixed hardwood forest. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(2): 107-113. [9153]
  • 47. Jones, Steven M. 1988. Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina. Natural Areas Journal. 8(1): 31-37. [11008]
  • 64. McDonnell, Mark J. 1986. Old field vegetation height and the dispersal pattern of bird- disseminated woody plants. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 113(1): 6-11. [4563]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 67. Monk, Carl D. 1968. Successional and environmental relationships of the forest vegetation of north central Florida. The American Midland Naturalist. 79(2): 441-457. [10847]
  • 7. Billings, W. D. 1938. The structure and development of old field shortleaf pine stands and certain associated physical properties of the soil. Ecological Monographs. 8(3): 437-499. [10701]
  • 75. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 93. Walton, Gerald S. 1986. Association of dogwood borer with the recent decline of dogwood. Journal of Arboriculture. 12(8): 196-198. [14100]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: layering, natural, root crown

Flowering dogwood reproduces through seed as well as by vegetative
means.

Seed: Plants grown from seed often produce seed as early as 6 years of
age [9,65,73]. Six-year old sprouts with a diameter of 0.75 inch (19
mm) and height of 4 feet (1.2 m) have also reportedly produced seed
[65]. Good seed crops are produced every 2 years, with crop failures
likely in 1 of 4 years [56]. Pack [71] reported that 71 percent of all
plants bore fruit during a single year, with average yields of 0.50
quart (0.4 l). An annual average of 1,417 fruits per acre (3,500/ha)
was reported in oak-hickory stands and up to 27,530 per acre (68,000/ha)
in openings [14]. Flowers are pollinated by beetles, bees, butterflies,
and flies [24]. Seeds are dispersed by birds, mammals, and gravity
[65].

Germination: Flowering dogwood is characterized by delayed germination
due to embryo dormancy [65]. Under natural conditions, seeds overwinter
before germination occurs [72], and some seeds do not germinate until
the second spring [9]. Warm, moist stratification for 60 days followed
by long periods (120 days) of cold temperatures increases germination
[5,9]. Chemical or mechanical scarification can also promote
germination. Results of specific germination tests are as follows [9]:

test conditions germ. energy germ.
light duration amount period capacity

8 hrs. 60 days 14-45% 15-20 days 35 %

Seedling establishment: Adequate soil moisture is necessary for
successful establishment and growth of flowering dogwood seedlings [44].
Seedling survival is generally best on moist, rich, well-drained soils
[56] and at stand margins [65].

Vegetative regeneration: Flowering dogwood often sprouts vigorously
after plants are cut or burned. Plants sprout best after winter
fellings; those cut in midsummer produce the fewest stump sprouts
[31,65] [see Management Considerations - mechanical treatment]. Greater
sprout height growth has been correlated with increasing stump diameter
[65]. An increase of 0.3 feet (9 cm) has been reported for every 1 inch
(2.5 cm) increase in stump diameter.

Sprouting from the root crown has been reported after fire. Multiple
stems commonly develop from a single surviving root crown [33].
Flowering dogwood also reproduces through layering [65]. Epicormic
branching has been reported [28].
  • 14. Clark, F. Bryan. 1962. White ash, hackberry, and yellow-poplar seed remain viable when stored in the forest litter. Indiana Academy of Science Proceedings. 1962: 112-114. [237]
  • 24. Eyde, Richard H. 1988. Comprehending Cornus: puzzles and progress in the systematics of the dogwoods. Botanical Review. 54(3): 233-351. [6144]
  • 28. Fowells, H. A., compiler. 1965. Silvics of forest trees of the United States. Agric. Handb. 271. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 762 p. [12442]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 33. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 44. Horn, John C. 1985. Responses of understory tree seedlings to trenching. The American Midland Naturalist. 114(2): 252-258. [12628]
  • 5. Belcher, Earl W., Jr.; Hitt, Robert G. 1965. Eastern Tree Seed Laboratory: 12th annual report, fiscal year 1965. Macon, GA: Eastern Tree Seed Laboratory. 66 p. In cooperation with: Region 8 and the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, U.S. Forest Service; Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Forest Research Council. [6522]
  • 56. Lesser, Walter A.; Wistendahl, Jean D. 1974. Dogwoods. In: Gill, John D.; Healy, William M., compilers. Shrubs and vines for northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest and Range Experiment Station: 32-41. [15902]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 71. Park, Barry C. 1942. The yield and persistence of wildlife food plants. Journal of Wildlife Management. 6(2): 118-121. [7446]
  • 72. Priester, David S. 1979. Stump sprouts of swamp and water tupelo produce viable seeds. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 3(4): 149-151. [10616]
  • 73. Probasco, George E. 1978. Bird habitat-woody plant relations on Missouri limestone glades. In: Glenn-Lewin, David C.; Landers, Roger Q., Jr., eds. Proceedings, 5th Midwest prairie conference; 1976 August 22-24; Ames, IA. Ames, IA: Iowa State University: 107-109. [3358]
  • 9. Brinkman, Kenneth A. 1974. Cornus L. dogwood. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 336-342. [7593]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: chamaephyte, hemicryptophyte, phanerophyte

Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (mesophanerophyte)
Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (microphanerophyte)
Burned or Clipped State: Chamaephyte
Burned or Clipped State: Hemicryptophyte

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Life Form

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Tree, Shrub

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Reaction to Competition

Flowering dogwood is an  understory species and is classed as very tolerant of shade.  Maximum photosynthesis occurs at slightly less than one-third of  full sunlight (15). It is tolerant of high temperatures. Soil  moisture usually is the limiting factor. In Southern forests,  dogwood leaves are often the first to wilt in dry weather.  Continuing drought may cause leaves to fall and dieback of tops  to occur.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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B. F. McLemore

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Rooting Habit

The extensive root system of flowering  dogwood is extremely shallow. This fact undoubtedly accounts for  the susceptibility of this species to periods of drought.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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B. F. McLemore

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

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Vegetatative growth occurs throughout most of the summer but may cease
during periods of adverse weather conditions [56]. In a Massachusetts
study, seedlings grew from April 24 through September 4, although 90
percent of the total growth took place from May 15 through August 18
[65]. Growth was most rapid during the first week of August [65].
Laboratory tests indicate that short day lengths can force plants into
premature dormancy [28]. Rapid diameter growth typically lasts 80 to 90
days [28]. New floral and vegetative buds become evident in August,
develop somewhat during the summer months, remain dormant through the
winter, and expand the following spring [36]. Flowers develop with
[86,87] or before the leaves [61]. In Ohio, Gorchov [103] reported a
mean average of 138 days between flowering and fruit ripening.
Flowering typically occurs in mid-March in the South and as late as May
in the North [65]. Flowering and fruiting dates by geographic location
are as follows:

Location Flowering Fruiting Authority

FL Panhandle April-June ---- Clewell 1985
Great Plains March-May ---- Great Plains Flora
Association 1986
NC, SC March-April Sept.-Oct. Radford & others 1968
n-c Plains April-May late Sept. Stephens 1973
New England May 8-June 12 ---- Seymour 1985
ON late May Aug.-Sept. Soper & Heimburger 1982
TX late March-early May Sept. Simpson 1988, Lesser &
Wistendahl 1974
WV ---- Sept. Pack 1942

Seed dispersal occurs from mid-October to November or later [56]. In
West Virginia, latest fruit persistence was recorded on December 2; in
Texas, some seed persisted until January [56]. Leaves turn a deep red
in late September [87] and leaf fall occurs from early October to early
November [28].
  • 103. Kaufman, Wallace. 1989. New light on the dogwood blight. American Forests. 95: 46-49, 76. [9322]
  • 28. Fowells, H. A., compiler. 1965. Silvics of forest trees of the United States. Agric. Handb. 271. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 762 p. [12442]
  • 36. Gunatilleke, C. V. S.; Gunatilleke, I. A. U. N. 1984. Some observations on the reproductive biology of three species of Cornus (Cornaceae). Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 65: 419-427. [7617]
  • 56. Lesser, Walter A.; Wistendahl, Jean D. 1974. Dogwoods. In: Gill, John D.; Healy, William M., compilers. Shrubs and vines for northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest and Range Experiment Station: 32-41. [15902]
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 86. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Flowering dogwood reproduces by  sprouting and sprouts most profusely when cut in late winter.  Height growth of sprouts is known to increase with increasing  stump diameter. The species also reproduces extensively by  layering. Other means of vegetative propagation include softwood  cuttings in summer, hardwood cuttings in winter, grafting in  winter or spring, suckers and divisions in spring, and budding in  the summer. Vegetative reproduction is necessary to propagate  plants for characteristics such as fruit retention and color of  bracts and fruit.

    Flowering dogwood roots readily from cuttings taken in June or  immediately after the plants bloom. Cuttings from young trees  usually show better growth and survival after rooting than  cuttings from mature trees. Only terminal shoot tips trimmed to  about 8 cm (3 in) in length and retaining two to four leaves  should be used. Bases of cuttings should be dipped in a mixture  of indolebutyric acid crystals and talc, one part acid crystals  to 250 parts talc by weight (10). Cuttings are then set about 3  cm (1.2 in) deep in the rooting medium and grown under a mist  with a photoperiod of at least 18 hours.

    The red form of flowering dogwood is difficult to start from  cuttings and usually is propagated by budding in late summer or  grafting in winter (6).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Natural germination of flowering  dogwood usually occurs in the spring following seedfall, but some  seeds do not germinate until the second spring. Germination is  epigeal. Stratification of freshly collected seed at 5° C  (41° F) for periods up to 120 days is recommended for  overcoming embryo dormancy (2).

    Seedlings usually show rapid root growth. In one greenhouse study,  an average 6-month-old seedling had 3,000 roots with a total  length of 51.2 in (168 ft), compared to 800 roots with a total  length of 3.7 in (12 ft) for loblolly pine (15).

    This species grows nearly all summer but stops temporarily during  periods of adverse conditions. In a Massachusetts nursery,  flowering dogwood displayed a height growth pattern different  from that of any other species studied. Seedlings grew from April  24 to September 4, and 90 percent of the growth occurred from May  15 to August 18. The most rapid growth occurred during the first  week of August (10).

    In a North Carolina Piedmont study, flowering dogwood seedlings  were planted under three situations: (1) in an open field, (2)  under pine stands, and (3) on the margins of pine stands.  Survival was significantly higher on the margins of pine stands  than on the other two sites, but there was no significant  difference in survival between the open field and the pine  forest. The intermediate light intensity of the margins  apparently provided some advantage. Growth of seedlings was  greater in the open than on the margin of the pine forest.  Seedlings in the forest were smallest (15).

    Transplanting flowering dogwood seedlings with a root ball is  preferred over bare-root transplanting, although both methods can  be successful (4). Plants entering their third year are well  suited for planting in permanent locations. Plants of this age  are usually 0.6 to 1 in (2 to 3 ft) tall and can be lifted easily  without excessive disturbance of the root system.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Dogwood usually  produces a good seed crop every other year, but seeds on isolated  trees are frequently empty. Thus, seed collections should be made  from groups of trees. In a Texas study, 88 percent or more of  trees 9 cm (3.4 in) in d.b.h. and larger bore fruit each year.  Year-to-year differences were more pronounced in the smaller  diameter classes. Average fruit production was 185 kg/m² of  basal area (37.9 lb/ft²) (9).

    The yield of stones per kilogram of fruit ranges from 0.19 to 0.46  kg (19 to 46 lb/100 lb of fruit). The average number of cleaned  stones per kilogram is 9,920 (4,500/lb). Clean, air-dried stones  may be stored in sealed containers at 3° C (38° F) for  2 to 4 years (2). Birds and other animals are the primary agents  of seed dissemination, although some seeds are scattered by  gravity.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Flowering dogwood has many  crowded, small, yellowish perfect flowers, borne in terminal  clusters in the spring before the leaves appear, and surrounded  by four snow-white, petal-like bracts. The bracts form "flowers"  5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) across and provide a spectacular display  in the springtime. Occasionally, trees with salmon-colored or  light-pink bracts are found in nature. Pink and red flowering  dogwoods and other cultivars with special ornamental  characteristics are commonly propagated from clones by commercial  nurseries. Dates of flowering range from mid-March in the South  to late May in the North.

    The clustered fruits of flowering dogwood are bright red drupes  about 13 mm. (0.5 in) long and 6 mm (0.25 in) in diameter with  thin, mealy flesh. Each fruit contains a two-celled, usually  two-seeded, bony stone. In many stones, only one seed is fully  developed. The fruits ripen from September to late October (10).  Trees grown from seed commonly flower and produce fruits when 6  years old. Flowers also have been observed on trees of sprout  origin at 6 years, when stump diameter is 19 mm (0.75 in), and  height is 1.2 m (4 ft).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

The maximum size obtained by a flowering  dogwood is 16.8 in (55 ft) in height and 48 cm (19 in) in d.b.h.  as recorded in the American Forestry Association's register of  champion trees. Heights on good sites of 9 to 12 in (30 to 40 ft)  are common, with ranges in d.b.h. of 20 to 40 cm (8 to 16 in). On  poorer sites, d.b.h. of mature trees may range from only 8 to 20  cm (3 to 8 in). Near the northern limits of its range, dogwood is  a many-branched shrub (15). Height growth in the southern  Appalachians is reported to be fairly rapid for the first 20 to  30 years, but then it practically ceases. Individual plants may  live for 125 years. Annual growth rings are usually 2 to 4 mm  (0.06 to 0.15 in) wide (12).

    Flowering dogwood seldom if ever grows in pure stands. Thus,  because it is usually a small, understory tree, little or no  information is available concerning growth and yield on a  per-acre basis. Moreover, it is treated as a weed tree in timber  stand improvement operations more often than it is grown for its  commercial value. One estimate has indicated that yields of 12.6  m³/ha of boltwood (2 cords/acre) may be cut on good sites,  but it takes 15 to 20 times the area to obtain half this amount  in other locations (15). No estimates of the volume of flowering  dogwood are available for the entire range of the species. One  writer noted that in six Southern States, where production is  concentrated, a volume of 2.82 million m³ (99.8 million ft³)  in trees 12.7 cm (5 in) d.b.h. and larger was shown by  inventories made between 1962 and 1971 (12). This indicates a  supply of more than 2.55 million m³ (1 million cords) within  the six States.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Near the northern limits of its range, flowering dogwood becomes a  many-branched shrub (15). Other than this, little is known of  population differences other than the tendency for fruit weights  to decrease with decreasing latitude and increasing length of  growing season (16).

    More than 20 cultivars of flowering dogwood are sold commercially  in the United States (17). Four clones of flowering dogwood most  commonly propagated as ornamentals are Cornus florida f.  pendula (Dipp.) Schelle, with pendulous branches, Cornus  florida f. rubra (West.) Schelle, with red or pink involucral  bracts, Cornus florida f. pluribracteata Rehder, with six  to eight large and several small bracts on the inflorescence, and  Cornus florida f. xanthocarpa Rehder, with yellow fruit.  Another cultivar, called Welchii, has yellow and red  variegated leaves and is offered commercially (17).

    In addition to these clones, Cornus florida var. urbaniana,  a variety found in the mountains of Nuevo León and  Veracruz, Mexico, differs from the typical species by its grayer  twigs and larger fruit (15).

    Flowering dogwood is not known to hybridize with other species.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cornus florida

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cornus florida

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread, still common, but being depleted by a fungus disease.

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Flowering dogwood has been placed on the protected list in many of the
states in which it occurs [61].
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]

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Status

Flowering dogwood is endangered in Maine, exploitably vulnerable in New York, and threatened in Vermont. Please consult the PLANTS Web site (http://plants.usda.gov) and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 30 to >90%

Comments: Declining due to fungus disease in substantial portions of range.

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Threats

Pests and potential problems

Dogwood borer larvae move through openings in the bark and feed on the trunks of flowering dogwood. If the cambium is destroyed, branches or the entire tree will die. Leaves will turn red and drop early, and bark will slough off around holes on the trunk or branches. An advantageous point of entry for larvae is through wounds. For this reason, avoid hitting the trunk with lawn mowers or string trimmers to prevent infestation. Insecticides are preventative, but will not control an existing infestation.

Twig borers will kill the tips of young twigs, but rarely kill an entire tree because they are usually present in small numbers. Twig borers tunnel through the pith and deposit ambrosia fungi as a food source for larvae. This infestation causes wilted leaves at the end of branches, and can be controlled by pruning infected twigs below the discolored pith area.

Larvae of the dogwood club-gall midge cause twigs to swell at the base of flowering dogwood leaves. An early symptom of club gall is a wilted, deformed leaf. The twig beyond the gall may die, but galls can be pruned and destroyed. In early fall, larvae drop from the gall to over winter on the ground. A light infestation is not harmful, but a heavy infestation will stunt the growth of the tree.

Flowering dogwood is threatened by dogwood blight caused by the dogwood anthracnose fungus. Tan and purple colored leaf spots develop in the lower canopy and progress up the tree. Infection spreads into the shoots, main branches, and trunk causing cankers to form. Multiple cankers can girdle the trunk and kill the tree. Diseased trees produce shoots that also become infected on the lower trunk and leaves. Stressful environmental conditions like drought or acid rain may weaken trees, predisposing them to dogwood blight. Dogwood blight can be controlled if the disease is detected before branch dieback begins. Prune and remove all dead twigs, dead limbs, and new shoots, and rake and remove fallen leaves. Remove crowding vegetation and thin the canopy to promote air circulation. Avoid nitrogen fertilizer. Fungicides can prevent infestations of new leaves and flowers.

Spot anthracnose attacks flowering dogwood leaves, stems, flowers, and buds. Spots are usually very small with reddish or purplish borders. Severe infestations can prevent flower buds from opening, distort leaves, and weaken trees. Fungicides containing bordeaux 4-4-100, chlorothalonil, or mancozeb can control spot anthracnose on new plant tissue. Clean up and dispose of infected leaves on the ground near the tree since this is where the fungi survive the winter.

Cankers form at wound sites and allow entrance to harmful insects and fungi. Initial symptoms of cankers are blackened or water soaked areas on the bark. This area will grow and will ooze a black liquid. Leaves will appear smaller and paler. Cankers cannot be controlled. Prevent formation by avoiding trunk wounds.

Root injury, over-fertilization, or lack of soil drainage can lead to root rot. Powdery mildew forms on new growth causing reddish discoloration, premature defoliation, and dead patches. Leaf scorch symptoms are browning and drying leaf margins. These symptoms can be caused by a lack of available soil moisture, transplanting shock, fertilizer or salt injury to roots or root rot diseases. Raking up fallen leaves and improving air circulation through the canopy can control and prevent powdery mildew and leaf scorch.

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Management

Management considerations

Chemical control: Flowering dogwood is moderately difficult to kill
with herbicides [51,66,68,83]. It is intermediately resistant to
glyphosate [95]. Winter treatments are generally less effective than
summer treatments [51]. Good results have been obtained with directed
sprays of Garlon.

Mechanical treatment: Flowering dogwood typically sprouts vigorously
after stems are cut [11]. Plants cut in July or early August tend to
produce the shortest sprouts and smallest sprout clumps. Three years
after treatment, sprout clumps originating from midsummer cuts averaged
2.5 feet (0.8 m) shorter and 1.5 feet (0.5 m) narrower than those from
winter cuts [11].

Silviculture: Flowering dogwood is typically more abundant in lightly
cut stands than in clearcuts [16]. Loftis [58] reported increases in
numbers following shelterwood treatments. In upland oak forests,
greatest abundance is often reached in unthinned stands [42].

Damage: Flowering dogwood can be killed by drought or flooding [31].
It is potentially sensitive to ozone damage [78].

Insects/diseases: Flowering dogwood is susceptible to many insects,
including the dogwood borer, flat-headed borer, dogwood twig borer, twig
girdler, and dogwood scale [65]. Flowering dogwood is now seriously
threatened by dogwood blight, also known as dogwood decline [104,94],
which has affected large numbers of trees from New England to Virginia
[85,94]. The primary cause is believed to be the dogwood anthracnose
fungus, although a combination of factors may be involved [104,85].
Unfavorable environmental factors such as drought or acid rain may
weaken trees, predisposing them to dogwood decline [104]. The dogwood
borer may play a similar role [94]. Some experts see little hope of
saving flowering dogwood in the wild [85].
  • 104. Wendel, G. W.; Smith, H. Clay. 1986. Effects of a prescribed fire in a central Appalachian oak-hickory stand. NE-RP-594. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 8 p. [73936]
  • 11. Buell, J. H. 1940. Effect of season of cutting on sprouting of dogwood. Journal of Forestry. 38: 649-650. [6241]
  • 16. Crawford, Hewlette S. 1976. Relationships between forest cutting and understory vegetation: an overview of eastern hardwood stands. Res. Pap. NE-349. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 9 p. [10882]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 42. Hill, John P.; Dickmann, Donald I. 1988. A comparison of three methods for naturally reproducing oak in southern Michigan. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 5(2): 113-117. [14482]
  • 51. Kossuth, S. V.; Young, J. F.; Voeller, J. E.; Holt, H. A. 1980. Year-round hardwood control using the hypo-hatchet injector. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 4(2): 73-76. [9490]
  • 58. Loftis, David L. 1990. A shelterwood method for regenerating red oak in the southern Appalachians. Forest Science. 36(4): 917-929. [13439]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 66. Michael, J. L. 1985. Hardwood control by injection with two new chemicals. Proceedings of the Southern Weed Science Society. 38: 164-167. [12687]
  • 68. Neary, D. G.; Douglass, J. E.; Ruehle, J. L.; Fox, W. 1984. Converting rhododendron-laurel thickets to white pine with picloram and mycorrhizae-inoculated seedlings. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 8(3): 163-168. [10697]
  • 78. Rickett, H. W. 1945. Cornaceae. North American Flora. 28B: 299-317. [7612]
  • 83. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708]
  • 85. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Misc. Publ. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
  • 94. Wendel, G. W.; Kochenderfer, J. N. 1982. Glyphosate controls hardwoods in West Virginia. Res. Pap. NE-497. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [9869]
  • 95. Whittaker, R. H. 1956. Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains. Ecological Monographs. 26(1): 1-79. [11108]

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Several cultivars of flowering dogwood are readily available from commercial sources. These cultivars have been developed for leaf color and variegation, flower color, fruit color, plant height, growth rate, and disease resistance.

Some examples of flowering dogwood cultivars include ‘Apple Blossom,’ ‘Bay Beauty,’ ‘Cherokee Brave,’ ‘Cherokee Chief,’ ‘Cloud 9,’ ‘First Lady,’ ‘Mystery,’ ‘Purple Glory,’ ‘Sweetwater Red,’ and ‘Welchii.’

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Seed production

Flowering dogwood seeds can be hand-sown into outdoor beds soon after collection (September to October). This allows for the seeds to undergo natural warm stratification prior to exposure to cooler winter temperatures. Imbibe seeds overnight, dust with fungicide, and hand-sow 5 to 6 inches apart in rows. Sprinkle endomycorrhizae over the seed before covering with soil. Mulch the bed with sawdust. Seeds can be artificially cold stratified for 100 to 130 days and germinated at 15 to 27oC. Prior to spring emergence (March to April), remove mulch. Place shade cloth above newly emerged seedlings and keep it in place until August.

Flowering dogwood can also be propagated by cutting, grafting, layering, and root division. It roots easily from cuttings taken in June or immediately after the plants bloom. Cut 8 cm of the terminal shoot tip, keeping 2 to 4 leaves, and dip into a one part indole-butyric acid (IBA) to 250 part talc (by weight) mixture. Set cuttings approximately 3 cm deep in rooting medium and grow under a misting system with a photoperiod of at least 18 hours.

Plants are best suited for transplanting at the beginning of the third year. Seedling survival is generally best on moist, rich, well-drained soils. Flowering dogwood may be difficult to transplant, but seedlings with a root ball are more successful than bare root transplants.

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Flowering dogwood is moderately resistant to herbicides although direct application of Garlon has killed the plant. Mechanically cutting stems results in smaller resprouts. Midsummer-cut regeneration is typically smaller and shorter than regeneration from winter-cut.

Plants commonly resprout from the root crown after aboveground vegetation is damaged or destroyed by fire. The aboveground portions of flowering dogwood are readily damaged by fire because the thin bark allows fatal levels of heat to reach the cambium very quickly. Post-fire recovery is generally more rapid after surface fires than after crown fires.

Extreme soil moisture and flooding is detrimental to the survival of flowering dogwood. The tree can be uprooted in saturated soil. Excess water also leaves this plant susceptible to pests and diseases.

Established trees in partial or deep shade need irrigation only in times of drought. Those in full sun will need regular irrigation throughout their lives.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: layering, softwood

Flowering has been planted on strip-mined lands in Indiana [10] and
grows as volunteers on surface-mined lands in Missouri, Kansas, and
Oklahoma [92].

Flowering dogwood can be propagated by seed, root cuttings, layering,
and grafting [9,31]. Seed may be planted immediately or stratified for
spring plantings [9]. Cleaned seed averages approximately 4,500 per
pound (9,920/kg) [65]. Summer softwood cuttings, winter hardwood
cuttings, grafts, suckers, and budding can be used to propagate
flowering dogwood [65]. Flowering dogwood can be difficult to
transplant [91]. Seedlings with a root ball are preferred over bareroot
transplants; plants at the beginning of the third growing season are
generally best suited for transplanting [65].
  • 10. Brothers, Timothy S. 1988. Indiana surface-mine forests: historical development and composition of a human-created vegetation complex. Southeastern Geographer. 28(1): 19-33. [8787]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 9. Brinkman, Kenneth A. 1974. Cornus L. dogwood. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 336-342. [7593]
  • 91. Vogel, Willis G. 1990. Results of planting oaks on coal surface-mined lands. In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Larson, M. M., eds. Proceedings, 4th workshop on seedling physiology and growth problems in oak plantings; 1989 March 1-2; Columbus, OH. (Abstracts). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-139. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 19. Abstract. [13146]
  • 92. Wallace, L. L.; Dunn, E. L. 1980. Comparative photosynthesis of three gap phase successional tree species. Oecologia. 45(3): 331-340. [14094]

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Flowering dogwood provides good cover for many wildlife species [31].
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]

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Nutritional Value

More info for the terms: fire management, phenology

The nutrient value of flowering dogwood varies significantly by plant
part, site history [see Fire Management Considerations], phenology, and
soil moisture levels [19,54].

Browse: Leaves of flowering dogwood are high in calcium, fat, and
fluorine [31,65]. Leaves were found to contain 1.72 percent calcium,
and twigs 1.44 percent [31]. Fluorine content of leaves was 72 p/m in
June but increased to 103 p/m by October [65]. Selected nutrient values
for flowering dogwood browse on unburned sites were reported as follows
[54]:

(percent measured at 15 percent moisture level)
dates protein fat fiber N-free extract ash Ca

spring 10.26 3.82 13.54 51.22 6.16 2.04
summer 6.49 5.61 13.61 51.57 7.72 2.76
fall 5.12 6.84 15.82 48.41 8.13 2.90
winter 4.49 4.30 21.85 48.23 6.13 2.01

Nutrient content of foliage has been measured as follows [65]:

K P Ca Mg S B Cu Fe Mn Zn
oven-dry (mg/kg of foliage) - ppm (mg/kg)

4,000 1,800 27,000 3,000 3,800 23 7- 240- 30- 3-
11,000 3,200 42,000 5,000 7,000 9 380 50 28

Fruit: Fruit of flowering dogwood is high in calcium and fats [65].
  • 19. DeWitt, James B.; Derby, James V., Jr. 1955. Changes in nutritive value of browse plants following forest fires. Journal of Wildlife Management. 19(1): 65-70. [7343]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 54. Lay, Daniel W. 1957. Browse quality and the effects of prescribed burning in southern pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 55: 342-347. [7633]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]

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Other uses and values

Flowering dogwood is highly valued as an ornamental and was first
cultivated in 1731 [9]. Showy blossoms and attractive fall foliage
contribute to its year-round beauty. It is widely used in landscaping
and street plantings [87]. At least 20 cultivars are now available
[65]. Popular cultivars include 'Sweetwater Red,' 'Silveredge,' 'White
Cloud,' 'Spring Song,' 'Gigantea' [61], and 'Welchii' which is
characterized by unique yellow and red variegated leaves [65].

Some Native American peoples made a scarlet dye from the roots of
flowering dogwood [61]. Teas and quinine substitutes were made from the
bark [61]. Plants contain cornine which is used medicinally in parts of
Mexico [27]. The bright red fruits are poisonous to humans [65].
  • 27. Ferguson, I. K. 1966. The Cornaceae in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 47: 106-116. [7616]
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]
  • 9. Brinkman, Kenneth A. 1974. Cornus L. dogwood. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 336-342. [7593]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Fruit: Flowering dogwood is a valuable species for wildlife. Its fruit
is readily eaten by many songbirds including the hermit, olive-back, and
gray-cheeked thrushes, veery, northern cardinal, white-throated sparrow,
tufted titmouse, towhees, grosbeaks, thrashers, bluebirds, and juncos
[4,24,38,63,97]. The fruit is particularly important to the American
robin. Flocks often move from the forest edge to the interior as
berries are depleted [4]. The pileated woodpecker, red-headed
woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, common crow, common grackle, and
starling also seek out flowering dogwood fruit [24]. Value of fruit to
upland game birds is rated as good [13]. In the Missouri Ozarks,
flowering dogwood fruit is particularly important to the wild turkey
from September to February [31]. Berries are readily eaten by the
eastern chipmunk, white-footed mouse, gray fox, gray squirrel, black
bear, beaver, white-tailed deer, skunks, and other mammals [31,65,91].

Browse: Beaver occasionally feed on flowering dogwood browse [31] and
sprouts are often heavily browsed by rabbits [65]. In southwestern
Michigan, browse is preferred by cottontail rabbits during the winter
[31] and in parts of Pennsylvania, flowering dogwood is considered an
important deer browse [12]. Deer utilization has reached 25 to 35
percent in parts of southeastern Texas [55].
  • 12. Butt, John P. 1984. Deer and trees on the Allegheny. Journal of Forestry. 82(8): 468-471. [12506]
  • 13. Carey, Andrew B.; Gill, John D. 1980. Firewood and wildlife. Res. Note 299. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p. [9925]
  • 24. Eyde, Richard H. 1988. Comprehending Cornus: puzzles and progress in the systematics of the dogwoods. Botanical Review. 54(3): 233-351. [6144]
  • 31. Gill, John D.; Healy, William M. 1974. Shrubs and vines for Northeastern wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-9. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 180 p. [6207]
  • 38. Hardin, Kimberly I.; Evans, Keith E. 1977. Cavity nesting bird habitat in the oak-hickory forests--a review. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-30. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 23 p. [13859]
  • 4. Baird, John W. 1980. The selection and use of fruit by birds in an eastern forest. Wilson Bulletin. 92(1): 63-73. [10004]
  • 55. Lay, Daniel W. 1967. Browse palatability and the effects of prescribed burning in southern pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 65(11): 826-828. [145]
  • 63. Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p. [4021]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 91. Vogel, Willis G. 1990. Results of planting oaks on coal surface-mined lands. In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Larson, M. M., eds. Proceedings, 4th workshop on seedling physiology and growth problems in oak plantings; 1989 March 1-2; Columbus, OH. (Abstracts). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-139. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 19. Abstract. [13146]
  • 97. Williamson, Malcolm J. 1964. Burning does not control young hardwoods on shortleaf pine sites in the Cumberland Plateau. Res. Note CS-19. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 4 p. [10999]

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Wood Products Value

The brownish wood of flowering dogwood is hard, strong, heavy, fine
grained, and shock resistant [9,22,61,87]. It was formerly used for
shuttles in the textile industry, and has also been used for tool
handles, charcoal, wheel cogs, mauls, hay forks, and pulleys [61]. The
wood is occasionally used to make specialty items such as golf club
heads, turnery, roller-skate wheels, jeweler's blocks, knitting needles,
and woodcut blocks [9,61,87].
  • 22. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]
  • 87. Cole, Dennis M.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1985. Growth and yield of lodgepole pine. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.; Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May 8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 263-290. [9460]
  • 9. Brinkman, Kenneth A. 1974. Cornus L. dogwood. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 336-342. [7593]

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Palatability

Flowering dogwood is fairly palatable to deer in southeastern Texas
[54]. Palatability may be somewhat higher in parts of Pennsylvania
[12]. The fruit of flowering dogwood is highly palatable to a wide
variety of birds and mammals.
  • 12. Butt, John P. 1984. Deer and trees on the Allegheny. Journal of Forestry. 82(8): 468-471. [12506]
  • 54. Lay, Daniel W. 1957. Browse quality and the effects of prescribed burning in southern pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 55: 342-347. [7633]

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Special Uses

Flowering dogwoods are extremely valuable for wildlife because the  seed, fruit, flowers, twigs, bark, and leaves are utilized as  food by various animals. The most distinguishing quality of  dogwood is its high calcium and fat content (5). Fruits have been  recorded as food eaten by at least 36 species of birds, including  ruffed grouse, bob-white quail, and wild turkey. Chipmunks,  foxes, skunks, rabbits, deer, beaver, black bears, and squirrels,  in addition to other mammals, also eat dogwood fruits. Foliage  and twigs are browsed heavily by deer and rabbits. The quality of  browse may be improved by controlled burns in the spring, which  increase the protein and phosphoric acid content.

    Flowering dogwood also is a favored ornamental species. It is  highly regarded for landscaping and urban forestry purposes.

    Virtually all the dogwood harvested was used in the manufacture of  shuttles for textile weaving, but plastic shuttles have rapidly  replaced this use. Small amounts of dogwood are used for other  articles requiring a hard, close-textured, smooth wood capable of  withstanding rough use. Examples are spools, small pulleys,  malletheads, jewelers' blocks, and turnpins for shaping the ends  of lead pipes (12).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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B. F. McLemore

Source: Silvics of North America

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Uses

Ethnobotanic: Flowering dogwood root bark was used by Native Americans as a fever reducer, skin astringent, an antidiarrheal agent, and as a pain reliever for headaches, sores, and muscle inflammations. It was also used to counteract the effects of many poisons and as a general tonic for unspecified ailments. The bark was used for headache and backache relief, as a throat aid for hoarseness, and as an infusion for childhood diseases like worms and measles. Flowers were infused to

reduce fever and relieve colic pains. Compound infusions of several plant parts were used as blood

purifiers and as medicine for blood diseases like malaria.

Ornamental: The showy blossoms and attractive fall foliage make flowering dogwood a valuable ornamental species. It is commonly used in landscape and street plantings. As a garden tree, it is used for shade around patios, as a shrub border or backdrop species, or as single specimens in the lawn. It is best suited for plantings receiving less than full-day sun.

Restoration: Flowering dogwood is a soil improver because its leaf litter decomposes more rapidly than most other species. For this reason flowering dogwood has been planted on abandoned strip mines and used for urban forestry projects.

Wildlife: Flowering dogwood is a valuable food plant for wildlife because high calcium and fat contents make it palatable. Many bird types including songbirds, forest edge species, and upland game birds (e.g. wild turkey) consume the seeds. The eastern chipmunk, white-footed mouse, gray fox, gray squirrel, black bear, beaver, white-tailed deer, and skunk readily consume flowering dogwood seeds as well. Beaver, rabbits, and deer browse the leaves and sprouts of the plant. Flowering dogwood also provides shelter and habitat for many wildlife species.

Wood production: The wood of flowering dogwood has been harvested for the manufacture of tool handles, charcoal, wheel cogs, hayforks, and pulleys. It is occasionally used to make specialty items like golf club heads, roller skate wheels, knitting needles, and spools. The wood is hard, strong, and shock resistant, making it suitable for wood products that need to withstand rough use.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Risks

Warning

WARNING: The fruit of flowering dogwood is poisonous to humans.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

flowering dogwood
cornel
boxwood
arrowwood
white cornel
Cornelian tree

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Flowering dogwood is a member of the subgenus Cynoxylon within the
family Cornaceae [27,61]. The currently accepted scientific name is
Cornus florida L. [49]. Earlier taxonomists recognized several
subspecies or varieties, but most are no longer accepted. The following
varieties are currently recognized by many authorities [60,65]:

Cornus florida var. urbiniana Wang.
Cornus florida var. florida
Cornus florida var. pringlei

These varieties are distinguished primarily on the basis of differences
in floral and vegetative morphology. Several forms, including those
with pink or yellow flowers and red or yellow fruit, have been
identified [24,61]. Commonly recognized forms are as follows [79]:

Cornus florida f. rubra (Weston) Palmer & Steyeim.
Cornus florida f. xanthocarpa Rehder
Cornus florida f. pendula (Dipp.) Schelle
Cornus florida f. pluribracteata Rehder

Flowering dogwood is not known to hybridize with any other species [65].
  • 24. Eyde, Richard H. 1988. Comprehending Cornus: puzzles and progress in the systematics of the dogwoods. Botanical Review. 54(3): 233-351. [6144]
  • 27. Ferguson, I. K. 1966. The Cornaceae in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 47: 106-116. [7616]
  • 49. Kartesz, John T.; Kartesz, Rosemarie. 1980. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume II: The biota of North America. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press; in confederation with Anne H. Lindsey and C. Richie Bell, North Carolina Botanical Garden. 500 p. [6954]
  • 60. Lowrey, L. R. 1990. Cornus florida var. pringlei. American Nurseryman. 172(6): 142. [14098]
  • 61. Lynch, John A. 1981. The outriders of spring: Dogwood. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [14095]
  • 65. McLemore, B. F. 1990. Cornus florida L. flowering dogwood. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 278-283. [13963]
  • 79. Rogers, Lynn. 1976. Effects of mast and berry crop failures on survival, growth, and reproductive success of black bears. Transactions, North American Wildlife Conference. 41: 431-438. [8951]

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