roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii C.A. Meyer
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: swamp dogwood
  • LEAVES: opposite, simple, deciduous; ovate to elliptic; venation arcuate; appressed hairs on upper surface impart a slightly scabrous texture
  • FLOWER: white, in large (2-4”) open, flat-topped cymose clusters; flowering in spring following emergence of new leaves
  • FRUIT: white drupes, 1/4”
  • TWIGS: younger twigs smooth, reddish brown
  • BARK: dark gray, narrow fissures and rectangular blocky scales on larger trees
  • FORM: thicket-forming shrub or small tree
  • HABITAT: floodplain soils and upland clay soils
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: south central US   [MAP]
  • USES: wood – shuttle-blocks, charcoal; ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: fruit consumed by many birds and several mammals, shoots commonly browsed by whitetail deer; provides cover
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. small tree with opposite leaves having arcuate venation
    2. upper leaf surfaces slightly scabrous
    3. open flat-topped clusters of white flowers and fruit

    Cornus foemia Mill. (stiff dogwood) is similar, but has blue fruit and its leaves are smooth above rather than scabrous. Also, C. foemina is wetter sited (FACW) and occurs on old landscapes in habitats such as small stream forests and bayhead swamps.