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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Cornaceae

9. Cornus alternifolia Linnaeus f., Suppl. Pl. 125. 1782.

Pagoda or alternate-leaf dogwood, cornouiller à feuilles alternes Pagoda or alternate-leaf dogwood, cornouiller à feuilles alternes

Bothrocaryum alternifolium (Linnaeus f.) Pojarkova; Cornus alterna Marshall; Swida alternifolia (Linnaeus f.) Small

Shrubs or trees, to 12 m, flowering at 2 m. Stems clustered; bark thick, corky, plates rectangular, 0.5–1 cm wide; branchlets usually green to yellowish green, sometimes reddish brown, glabrous; lenticels lenticular, then splitting periderm longitudinally. Leaves: petiole 20–50 mm; blade narrowly to broadly ovate or obovate, 4–12 × 2.3–7 cm, base usually cuneate, rarely rounded, apex abruptly acuminate or cuspidate, abaxial surface yellow-green, papillose, appressed-hairy, adaxial surface dark green, glabrate; secondary veins 5–6 per side, most arising from basal 1/2. Inflorescences flat to hemispheric, 3–15 cm diam., 50–100-flowered; peduncle 30–60 mm; branches and pedicels yellow-green, turning red in fruit, alternate on central axis, proximal 2–3 orders with minute bracts. Flowers: hypanthium appressed-hairy; sepals 0–0.2 mm; petals cream, 2.5–4 mm. Drupes blue, globose, 5–8 mm diam.; stone subglobose, laterally compressed, 5–6 × 5–6 × 4 mm, slightly ribbed. 2n = 20.

Flowering Apr–Jun; fruiting Jun–Aug. Deciduous hardwood forests, usually mesic or dry-mesic, loamy soils, rocky slopes; 10–2000 m; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.

Cornus alternifolia persists around abandoned homesteads in Nebraska and occasionally escapes, but does not appear to be naturalized there. A putative hybrid in Nova Scotia between C. alternifolia and C. sericea was named C. ×acadiensis by M. L. Fernald (1941c).


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