Shrubs of Wisconsin

Cornus alternifolia L. f.
alternate-leaved dogwood
Family: Cornaceae
plant branch leaf twig bark fruit

All species of Dogwoods in our region have simple leaves with entire (smooth, toothless) margins, and arcuate veins (the veins curve up toward the tip of the leaf). Cornus alternifolia is our only dogwood with alternate leaves and although it is not very tall, it is also our only dogwood that usually has the growth form of a tree. Several branches tend to originate close together on the stem, followed by a relatively long interval before the next set of branches, giving a layered appearance to the tree. Flowering begins in late May or early June. The fruit is a blue berry-like fruit called a drupe, with two seeds.


known Wisconsin distribution


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