Cornus alternifolia f.
Cornus alternifolia L. f.
Swida alternifolia (L. f.) Small
Pagoda Dogwood, Alternateleaf Dogwood
Alternate-leaved dogwood is a North American native plant.
Identification: This is the tallest and most tree-like of the native dogwoods, reaching 25' (7.6 m) in height. Others are shrublike or, in the case of bunchberry, only 3 inches tall. Branches are arranged in horizontal layers with intervening gaps, leading to the common name “pagoda dogwood.” While this horizontal layering is present in most dogwoods, it is more pronounced in this one. Bark on younger branches is dark reddish (or purplish) brown, turning gray on older ones. This dogwood is unusual in that its leaves are alternate—in all other dogwoods, the leaves are opposite. Leaves are deeply veined, elliptical to oval in shape, 2-5" (5-12 cm) × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm), with veins that become almost parallel with the leaf edges as they approach them. Leaf undersides are glaucous: much paler than the tops. Flowers are in yellowish-white clusters of 4-petaled flowers. Fruits are in clusters, purplish-black, ¼" (8.5 mm) in diameter.
Cornus alternifolia f. on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook
Cornus alternifolia f. at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity
Cornus alternifolia f. on Wikipedia
Cornus alternifolia f. at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Cornus alternifolia f. at the Plants of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
Cornus alternifolia f. description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 3-7: