Cornus alternifolia


This native shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet tall, has up to 4 inch diameter trunks (C). The oval leaves are smooth, with stalks of variable lengths. They are alternate on their twigs but appear fan-shaped (A). The white flowers from flat-topped clusters (A,B). The fruit is dark blue and nearly spherical (D). In comparison, Rough-leaved Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) has rough, opposite leaves and mostly white fruit. Pale Dogwood (Cornus amomum) has opposite leaves and maroon stems in winter.

Occurs in moist ravines and woods, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, rare; several small trees found near the entrance to Handsome Hollow. They were probably planted there long ago, since our area is outside their natural range.

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