Roundleaf Dogwood Cornus rugosa
Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)
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
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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This page is maintained by Josh Sayers.
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