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Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida L.

Flowering dogwood
Figure 50.—Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
Other common names.—Cornus, American dogwood, Virginia dogwood, Florida dogwood, American cornelian tree, flowering corner, Florida cornel, white cornel, Indian arrowwood, nature's-mistake.

Habitat and range.—Dogwood occurs in woods from southern Maine and southern Ontario to Florida, Texas, and Missouri, but grows most abundantly in the Middle Atlantic States.

Description. The dogwood sometimes grows to a height of 40 feet, but more frequently is a shrub. In the early spring the naked, leafless branches support numerous large, showy white flowers, so-called. The four showy parts of these "flowers" are petallike bracts which surround the true flowers, which are small, greenish-yellow, and inconspicuous. The leaves, which develop after the flowers have disappeared, turn a bright red in autumn, and this with the scarlet fruit makes the tree very attractive at that time of the year.

Part used.—The bark of the root, collected in autumn.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 19, 1998 by aw