Roundleaf Dogwood Cornus rugosa
Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)
Branching: Opposite

This shrub can closely resembles Red-osier and Silky Dogwoods, as well as Mountain Maple.  It usually grows from about waist to head-height, though it can be taller.  Like the two Dogwoods, its stems and branches are typically reddish, though they tend to be lighter and appear greenish to pinkish, with purple blotches.  It has a white pith, like Red-osier but it tends to grow on more upland sites and it grows taller than Red-osier usually does.  While there is some overlap in characteristics, the combination of habitat, colour of branches, and presence of purple blotches should usually separate the two.  Roundleaf Dogwood can actually grow quite tall (two or sometimes three times the height of a person) and the mature bark at the base becomes gray and rough.  Mountain Maple shares many characteristics, including the contrast of older and young bark, but it will always lack the purple blotches, the ends of its twigs are more consistently downy, and its leaf scars are not raised (as all Dogwoods are).  Most of these pictures are from Minnesota.  The plants that I've seen in Ontario are much more green than red.

End bud of Roundleaf Dogwood

Lateral buds.  These twigs are similar in colour to Red-osier Dogwood, but notice the purple blotches

Lateral buds

Roundleaf Dogwood leaf.  More circular and with almost twice as many veins as Red-osier.
They are often hairy on the underside

Bark starting to become gray and rough.  Also, notice the dead branches, similar to
Alternate-leaf Dogwood, but not as common and without the distinct yellow colour

The remains of a fruit cluster

Old and younger bark side by side

An  example of the greenish twigs and purple blotches

Mountain Maple twig (left) and Roundleaf Dogwood twig (right

Branches of Mountain Maple (left) and Roundleaf Dogwood (right) 

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