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Overview

Brief Summary

The Alternate-leafed (or Pagoda) Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is a shrub or small tree with leaves that are 5 to 13 cm in length, alternately arranged, and often crowded toward the tips of greenish twigs (some leaves may be oppositely arranged or whorled). The leaves are conspicuously acuminate (i.e., tapered to a narrow tip) with 4 to 5 veins to each side of the midrib. Petioles (leaf stalks) may range from 8 to 50 mm even on a single twig. The pith is white. Buds have two scales and leaf scars are narrow and raised, with three bundle scars. Maximum tree height is around 6 to 7 m. Flowers, which appear in late spring after the leaves, are small and white and borne in flat-topped clusters 4 to 6 cm across (Choukas-Bradley and Alexander 1987). The blue-black fruits are clustered at the ends of twigs and have red stems. Cornus alternifolia is found in eastern North America from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to Minnesota and south to Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas and is often found growing in rich woods and thickets. The insect-pollinated flowers attract a variety of butterflies and bees. The fruits are eaten by many birds, including Ruffed Grouse, and the twigs are browsed by deer and rabbits. (Petrides 1988; Gleason and Cronquist 1991)

According to molecular phylogenetic analyses by Fan and Xiang (2001) and Xiang et al. (2006), the sister species to the North American C. alternifolia is the Asian species C. controversa, a finding that is consistent with a range of similarities. These two species are the only extant Cornus with alternately arranged leaves (although even in these species the leaves are often in subopposite pairs or, at the ends of branches, crowded almost into whorls). In addition, they are the only two species whose fruits consistently have stones with deep pits in their apices (C. controversa with a small deep pit and C. alternifolia with a large one) and both have a derived chromosome number (2n=20 rather than the typical 22; Gleason and Cronquist 1991) and lack rudimentary inflorescence bracts as well as extra seed chambers. (Eyde 1988) In addition to these morphological and cytological similarities, C. alternifolia and C. controversa also have similar anthocyanin profiles (Vareed et al. 2006).

Vareed et al. (2006) analyzed the anthocyanins present in the fruits of C. alternifolia and several other Cornus species, quantifying them using HPLC, characterizing them using spectroscopic methods, and screening their biological activity using several different assays. Results suggested potential anti-tumor activity for C. alternifolia fruits.

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Comprehensive Description

Description

This native shrub is up to 25' tall, developing widely spreading branches that are often arranged in tiers. The trunk bark of older shrubs is light brown and slightly rough; it has furrows that are shallow and narrow. The trunk bark of younger shrubs is more smooth and pale greenish brown. Alternate leaves are located toward the tips of small branches and twigs; they are spaced closely together, sometimes appearing opposite or whorled. The leaf blades are 2-5" long and about one-half as much across; they are ovate in shape and smooth along their margins. The upper leaf surfaces are medium to dark green and glabrous, while their lower surfaces are pale green to white and canescent (very short fine hairs). Leaf venation is pinnate; for each leaf blade, there are 5-6 curving lateral veins on each side of the central vein. The slender petioles of the leaves are light green to red and up to 1" long. Flat-headed panicles of flowers are produced from among the leaves. Each panicle spans about 2–3½" across and contains numerous small flowers that are cream-colored to white. Each flower is about ¼" across, consisting of a 4 narrowly lanceolate petals, a tiny calyx, 4 stamens, and a central style. The petals spread widely from the center of each flower, drooping downward somewhat later. During the blooming period, the branches of the panicle are light green. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about about 2-3 weeks. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance. The flowers are replaced by small drupes about 1/3" across that become ripe during the early fall. At this time, the drupes are dark blue and the branches of the panicle are orange-red. Each fleshy drupe contains a single large seed (or sometimes two). Ripe berries are sour and bitter. The root system is woody and branching. This shrub reproduces by reseeding itself.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Alternate-Leaved Dogwood is found mostly in the northern half of Illinois, where it is uncommon. In the southern half of the state, it is rare or absent. Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, mixed woodlands (both coniferous & deciduous trees are present), woodland borders and openings, thickets, and shaded or partially shaded banks of streams. This shrub is normally found in high quality natural areas. It is often cultivated as an ornamental landscape plant.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Alternate-leaf dogwood occurs from Newfoundland through the New England
States to the Florida Panhandle. It extends west to the northern shores
of Lake Superior and eastern Minnesota and south through the Midwest
States to Arkansas and Mississippi [6,21,27].
  • 21. 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]
  • 27. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 6. Clewell, Andre F. 1985. Guide to the vascular plants of the Florida Panhandle. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University Press. 605 p. [13124]

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Occurrence in North America

AL AR CT DE FL GA IL IN IA KY
ME MD MA MI MN MS MO NH NJ NY
NC OH PA RI SC TN VT VA WV WI
MB NB NF ON PQ NS

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Alternate-leaf dogwood is a large shrub or small tree that may reach 25
to 30 feet (7.5-9 m) in height [5,14,25]. The trunk forks near the
ground into several branches that spread horizontally in layers. The
bark is thin. The alternate leaves occur mainly at the end of the
twigs. The fruit is a drupe [10,17,21,31].
  • 10. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 14. 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]
  • 17. Hunter, Carl G. 1989. Trees, shrubs, and vines of Arkansas. Little Rock, AR: The Ozark Society Foundation. 207 p. [21266]
  • 21. 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]
  • 25. Rickett, H. W. 1945. Cornaceae. North American Flora. 28B: 299-317. [7612]
  • 31. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 5. Chapman, William K.; Bessette, Alan E. 1990. Trees and shrubs of the Adirondacks. Utica, NY: North Country Books, Inc. 131 p. [12766]

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Alternate-Leaved Dogwood is found mostly in the northern half of Illinois, where it is uncommon. In the southern half of the state, it is rare or absent. Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, mixed woodlands (both coniferous & deciduous trees are present), woodland borders and openings, thickets, and shaded or partially shaded banks of streams. This shrub is normally found in high quality natural areas. It is often cultivated as an ornamental landscape plant.
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Habitat characteristics

Alternate-leaf dogwood grows best on well-drained deep soils. It is
found in moist woodlands, along forest margins, on stream and swamp
borders, and near deep canyon bottoms [1,16,21].
  • 1. Archambault, Louis; Barnes, Burton V.; Witter, John A. 1989. Ecological species groups of oak ecosystems of southeastern Michigan. Forest Science. 35(4): 1058-1074. [9768]
  • 16. Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p. [3375]
  • 21. 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]

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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):

More info for the term: hardwood

1 Jack pine
5 Balsam fir
16 Aspen
17 Pin cherry
21 Eastern white pine
23 Eastern hemlock
24 Hemlock - yellow birch
25 Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch
26 Sugar maple - basswood
27 Sugar maple
28 Black cherry - maple
30 Red spruce - yellow birch
31 Red spruce - sugar maple - beech
32 Red spruce
33 Red spruce - balsam fir
34 Red spruce - Fraser fir
39 Black ash - American elm - red maple
42 Bur oak
46 Eastern redcedar
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
53 White oak
57 Yellow-poplar
58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock
60 Beech - sugar maple
62 Silver maple - American elm
70 Longleaf pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash

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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):

K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
K095 Great Lakes pine forest
K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest
K097 Southeastern spruce - fir forest
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K101 Elm - ash forest
K102 Beech - maple forest
K103 Mixed mesophytic forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K106 Northern hardwoods
K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest
K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest
K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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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
FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES19 Aspen - birch

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Key Plant Community Associations

Alternate-leaf dogwood is an understory dominant in the northeastern
United States and in the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) forest of the
Great Lakes region [8,16,18].

Common associates of alternate-leaf dogwood include chokecherry (Prunus
virginiana), American hazel (Corylus americana), hazelnut (C. cornuta),
mountain maple (Acer spicatum), striped maple (A. pennsylvanicum), black
cherry (Prunus serotina), serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis),
mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia), huckleberries (Vaccinium spp), and
dogwoods (Cornus spp.) [2,18,21].
  • 16. Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p. [3375]
  • 18. Kotar, John; Kovach, Joseph A.; Locey, Craig T. 1988. Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Forestry; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 217 p. [11510]
  • 2. Balogh, James C.; Grigal, David F. 1987. Age-density distributions of tall shrubs in Minnesota. Forest Science. 33(4): 846-857. [2879]
  • 21. 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]
  • 8. Dansereau, Pierre. 1959. The principal plant associations of the Saint Lawrence Valley. No. 75. Montreal, Canada: Contrib. Inst. Bot. Univ. Montreal. 147 p. [8925]

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies. The short-tongued bee, Andrena fragilis, is an oligolectic visitor of the flowers. Many insects feed on the leaves, wood, and other parts of Cornus spp. (Dogwood shrubs). These species include moth caterpillars (see Moth Table), caterpillars of the butterfly Celastrina argiolus (Spring/Summer Azure), long-horned beetles, leaf beetles, plant bugs, aphids, and other insects (see Insect Table). The berries are a popular food source of many birds (see Bird Table); they are also eaten by the White-Footed Mouse and Eastern Chipmunk. White-Tailed Deer and the Cottontail Rabbit feed on the leaves and twigs, while Beavers feed on the branches of this shrub when it grows near sources of water.
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General Ecology

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: hardwood, root crown, top-kill

No specific information is available on fire response of alternate-leaf
digwood. Since it sprouts from the root crown, it probably does so
after top-kill by fire.

Perala [23] reported that alternate-leaf dogwood was "encouraged" by
prescribed fire in an aspen-mixed hardwood forest in north-central
Minnesota, but no details were given.
  • 23. Perala, Donald A. 1974. Prescribed burning in an aspen-mixed hardwood forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 4: 222-228. [5816]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fires probably top-kills alternate-leaf dogwood.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: root crown, secondary colonizer, shrub

Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown
Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Facultative Seral Species

Alternate-leaf dogwood is shade-tolerant [9,20]. It is a dominant
understory species in mature forest in New England, and a
late-successsional understory shrub in the aspen (Populus spp.) and
sugar maple forests of Michigan [21,26].

Alternate-leaf dogwood also occurs in younger tree stands. It was a
dominant shrub species in a 49-year-old aspen stand and an 18-year-old
aspen stand in northern Minnesota [32]. Alternate-leaf dogwood had a
density of 54 stems per hectare in a 20- to 30-year-old burn in North
Carolina [36]. Alternate-leaf dogwood occurs in both young (age less than 41
years) and old (age >40 years) oak (Quercus spp.) clearcuts in
southwestern Wisconsin [33].
  • 20. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 21. 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]
  • 26. Sakai, Ann K.; Roberts, Mark R.; Jolls, Claudia L. 1985. Successional changes in a mature aspen forest in northern lower Michigan: 1974-1981. American Midland Naturalist. 113(2): 271-282. [4450]
  • 32. Balogh, James C.; Grigal, David F. 1988. Tall shrub dynamics in northern Minnesota aspen and conifer forests. Res. Pap. NC-283. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agricultural, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 18 p. [6689]
  • 33. Hix, David M.; Lorimer, Craig G. 1991. Early stand development on former oak sites in southwestern Wisconsin. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 169-193. [16124]
  • 36. Saunders, Paul R.; Smathers, Garrett A.; Ramseur, George S. 1983. Secondary succession of a spruce-fir burn in the Plott Balsam Mountains, North Carolina. Castanea. 48(1): 41-47. [8658]
  • 9. DeSelm, H. R.; Boner, R. R. 1984. Understory changes in spruce-fir during the first 16-20 years following the death of fir. In: White, Peter S., ed. Southern Appalachian spruce-fir ecosystem: its biology and threats. Research/Resources Management Report SER-71. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Southeast Region: 51-69. [21927]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: layering

The dogwood species reproduce by layering, sprouting from the root
crown, and by seed [21,30]. The seed is dispersed by gravity and
animals. Germination is delayed due to embryo dormancy [21].

Alternate-leaf dogwood is vegetatively propagated [21].
  • 21. 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]
  • 30. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Tree, Shrub

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Fire Ecology

Fire survival and postfire regeneration strategies for alternate-leaf
dogwood are not well documented in the literature. If the roots or
stems survive fire, it may reproduce vegetatively. Alternate-leaf
dogwood may colonize fire disturbed sites with animal-dispersed seed
[26].
  • 26. Sakai, Ann K.; Roberts, Mark R.; Jolls, Claudia L. 1985. Successional changes in a mature aspen forest in northern lower Michigan: 1974-1981. American Midland Naturalist. 113(2): 271-282. [4450]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Alternate-leaf dogwood flowers from May to July. The fruit ripens from
July through September [4,20].
  • 20. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 4. 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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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cornus alternifolia

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 alternifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

This shrub prefers partial sun, moist well-drained conditions, and a rich loamy soil that is somewhat acidic. It also adapts to full sun and light shade. Growth and development is rather slow.
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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Alternate-leaf dogwood provides cover for many small birds and animals
[21].
  • 21. 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]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

At least 11 species of birds including ruffed grouse eat alternate-leaf
dogwood. Black bear also eat the fruit. The leaves and stems are eaten
by white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and beavers [7,15,22,30].
  • 15. Gullion, Gordon W.; Marshall, William H. 1968. Survival of ruffed grouse in a boreal forest. Living Bird. 7: 117-167. [15907]
  • 22. Newton, Michael; Cole, Elizabeth C.; Lautenschlager, R. A.; [and others]
  • 30. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]
  • 7. Crawford, Hewlette S.; Hooper, R. G.; Harlow, R. F. 1976. Woody plants selected by beavers in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Province. Res. Pap. NE-346. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 6 p. [20005]

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Wikipedia

Cornus alternifolia

Cornus alternifolia is a species of flowering plant in the dogwood family Cornaceae, native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland west to southern Manitoba and Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and Mississippi. It is rare in the southern United States.[1] It is commonly known as green osier,[2] alternate-leaved dogwood,[3] and pagoda dogwood.[2][4]

Description[edit]

Flowers

It is a small deciduous tree growing to 25 feet (8 m) (rarely 30 feet (9 m)) tall, with a trunk up to 6 inches (152 mm) in diameter. The branches develop characteristic horizontal layers separated by gaps, with a flat-topped crown. Its leaves are elliptic to ovate and grow to 2–5 inches (51–127 mm) long and 1–2 inches (25–51 mm) broad, arranged alternately on the stems, not in opposite pairs typical of the majority of Cornus species. The leaves are most often arranged in crowded clusters around the ends of the twigs and appear almost whorled. The upper sides of the leaves are smooth and green, while the undersides are hairy and a bluish color. The bark is colored gray to brown, becoming ridged as it ages. Small cream colored flowers are produced, with four small petals. The flowers are grouped into cymes, with the inflorescences 2–5 inches (51–127 mm)2-5 across. It bears berries with a blackish blue color.

  • Bark: Dark reddish brown, with shallow ridges. Branchlets at first pale reddish green, later dark green.
  • Wood: Reddish brown, sapwood pale; heavy, hard, close-grained. Sp. gr., 0.6696; weight of cu. ft., 41-73 lbs.
  • Winter buds: Light chestnut brown, acute. Inner scales enlarge with the growing shoot and become half an inch long before they fall.
Fruits
  • Leaves: Alternate, rarely opposite, often clustered at the ends of the branch, simple, three to five inches long, two to three wide, oval or ovate, wedge-shaped or rounded at base; margin is wavy toothed, slightly reflexed, apex acuminate. They come out of the bud involute, reddish green above, coated with silvery white tomentum beneath, when full grown are bright green above, pale, downy, almost white beneath. Feather-veined, midrib broad, yellowish, prominent beneath, with about six pairs of primary veins. In autumn they turn yellow, or yellow and scarlet. Petioles slender, grooved, hairy, with clasping bases.
  • Flowers: April, May. Perfect, cream color, borne in many-flowered, broad, open cymes, at the end of short lateral branches.
  • Calyx: The cup-shaped flowers have four petals that are valvate in bud, unwrapping when in bloom with cream colored, oblong shaped petals with rounded ends. The petals are inserted on disk and the stamens are inserted too and arranged alternately to the petals, being four in number also. The stamens are exserted with filaments long and slender. Anthers oblong, introrse, versatile, two-celled; cells opening longitudinally.
  • Pistil: Ovary inferior, two-celled; style columnar; stigma capitate.
  • Fruit: Drupe, globular, blue-black, 0.3 in (8 mm) across, tipped with remnant of style which rises from a slight depression; nut obovoid, many-grooved. October.[5]

Habitat[edit]

Seedlings

C. alternifolia is found under open deciduous trees, as well as along the margins of forests and swamps. These trees prefer moist, well drained soil.[6]

Seedlings are shade-tolerant and it is often found as an understory tree in mature forests, such as those dominated by Acer saccharum (sugar maple) or Populus (aspen). It is also common in younger forests.[6]

Ecology[edit]

The fruits provide food for at least eleven species of birds and the black bear. The leaves and bark are eaten by white-tailed deer, beaver, and cottontail rabbit.[6]

Use[edit]

The tree is regarded as attractive because of its wide-spreading shelving branches and flat-topped head, and is often used in ornamental plantings. The flower clusters have no great white involucre as have those of the flowering dogwood, and the fruit is dark purple instead of red.

The cultivar 'Argentea'[7] (silver pagoda dogwood) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

C. alternifolia is susceptible to golden canker (Cryptodiaporthe corni), particularly when drought-stressed or heat-stressed. Proper siting of the plant in partial to full shade, along with adequate mulch and water, will reduce the incidence of this pathogen.[8]

Cornus alternifolia has been used in the traditional Chinese medicine as tonic, analgesic, and diuretic.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cornus Alternifolia Range Map". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Cornus alternifolia L. f.". USDA GRIN Taxonomy. 
  3. ^ "Trees of Wisconsin: Cornus alternifolia". 
  4. ^ "NRCS: USDA Plants Profile and map: C. alternifolia". 
  5. ^ Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 186–189. 
  6. ^ a b c Coladonato, Milo (1994). "Cornus alternifolia". Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cornus alternifolia 'Argentea'". Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Michelle Grabowski. "Golden Canker on Pagoda Dogwood". University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^ Wang L, Waltenberger B, Pferschy-Wenzig EM, Blunder M, Liu X, Malainer C, Blazevic T, Schwaiger S, Rollinger JM, Heiss EH, Schuster D, Kopp B, Bauer R, Stuppner H, Dirsch VM, Atanasov AG. Natural product agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ): a review. Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 29. pii: S0006-2952(14)00424-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.07.018. PubMed PMID: 25083916.
  1. Trees, by Coombes, Allen J., Eyewitness Handbooks

External references[edit]

  1. Natural Resources Canada: Cornus alternifolia
  2. WLU data page: Cornus alternifolia[dead link]
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The currently accepted scientific name for alternate-leaf dogwood is
Cornus alternifolia L.f. (Cornaceae) [13]. There are no recognized
infrataxa. Alternate-leaf dogwood hybridizes with red-osier dogwood (C.
sericea) [13].
  • 13. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]

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Common Names

alternate-leaf dogwood

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