Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White

Cornus florida L. Flowering dogwood. Synonyms Cynoxylon floridum (L.) Raf. ex B.D. Jackson. Family Cornaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 27806. USDA PLANTS Symbol COFL2. TROPICOS # 08700057.

Images • Branchlet with leaves. • Individual leaf. • Branchlet with leaf buds. • Close-up of leaf bud. • Branchlet with flower buds. • Close-up of flower bud. • Flowers. • Close-up of flowers. • Branchlet with fruits. • Close-up of fruits. • Herbarium sheet 1. • Herbarium sheet 2. • Herbarium sheet 3. • Herbarium sheet 4. • Herbarium sheet 5.

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Angiosperms, synoecious, shrub or tree, (3–)5–12(–15) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) green or purple or red, glabrous or pubescent, puberulent. Leaf scars crescent-shaped or V-shaped, bundle scars 3 per leaf scar, stipule scars absent. Bark of mature trunks checkered or furrowed.

Buds. Buds axillary or terminal, gray or green or tan, conic or globose, blunt or sharp, glabrous or pubescent, bud scales imbricate or valvate or single scale.

Leaves. Leaves deciduous, simple, petiolate, opposite, 6–10(–15) cm long, 3–7 cm wide, obovate or oval or ovate, leaf margins entire or crenulate or serrulate, leaf apices acuminate or acute, leaf bases cuneate or obtuse or rounded. Leaf upper surface green, glabrate or pubescent, puberulent or strigose. Leaf lower surface gray or green or white, pubescent, strigose. Leaf venation pinnate, secondary veins on either side of the midvein 5–6. Petioles 1.2–2 cm long. Stipules absent.

Flowers. Flowering February or March or April or May or June. Inflorescences terminal, cymes or heads, flowers sessile. Flowers bisexual, epigynous. Perianth. Calyx radially symmetric, synsepalous. Sepals 4 per flower, ascending, green or yellow or yellow-green, pubescent, puberulent, persistent. Corolla radially symmetric, funnelform, sympetalous. Petals 4 per flower, reflexed or ascending, green or pink or red or white or yellow or yellow-green, lorate or ovate, petal apices acute or rounded, pubescent, caducous. Androecium. Stamens 4 per flower, alternating with petals, separate. Gynoecium. Ovaries inferior, pistils 1 per flower. Gynoecium syncarpous, 2 carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, placentation axile. Other floral features. Hypanthia present.

Fruits. Fruits drupes, 0.8–1.8 cm long, red or scarlet or yellow, fruit maturation 1 years.

Habitat. Habitat bottomland forests or disturbed and weedy areas or dry-mesic upland forests or mesic upland forests or mixed forest edges or suburban plantings.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Inflorescence subtended by 4 white (occasionally pink to red), showy, petal-like bracts; the actual petals are minute and typically greenish yellow; lateral leaf veins arch back toward the midvein as they approach the margin.

Cite this publication as: ‘Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White (2005 onwards). Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Identification, Descriptions, Illustrations, and Glossary. Version: March 7, 2006. <>’.

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