Alternate-leaved Dogwood Cornus alternifolia
Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)
Branching: Alternate
Other names: Pagoda Dogwood

This dogwood is unique to the group by having alternate leaves and buds.  It usually grows in more upland forests, although it is still found in wet areas.  Its general appearance is distinctive; twigs are usually a purplish-red and its branches form a layered look.  Dead twigs turn yellow and stand out.  It is usually a single-stemmed shrub and often grows to the size of a small tree.  Once the plant grows to a certain height, it often leans to one side.

End bud

Twig.  Notice the dark purplish-red colour and long slender portions of the twig between buds

Mature bark.  It develops a striped look very similar to Silky Dogwood.
But the colour is different (Silky much more red; Alternate-leaved
more purplish-green)

Dead twigs turn yellow and often remain on the tree.  I find them to be the first conspicuous feature
when I see an Alternate-leaved Dogwood.

Back to the main page

copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
please email me with any questions, comments, or errors