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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Cornaceae

18. Cornus racemosa Lamarck in J. Lamarck et al., Encycl. 2: 116. 1786.

Gray dogwood, cornouiller à grappes Gray dogwood, cornouiller à grappes

Cornus albida Ehrhart; C. foemina Miller subsp. racemosa (Lamarck) J. S. Wilson; C. gracilis Koehne; C. paniculata L'Heritier; C. paniculata var. albida (Ehrhart) Pursh; C. paniculata var. radiata Pursh; Swida candidissima Small; S. racemosa (Lamarck) Moldenke

Shrubs, to 5 m, flowering at 0.7 m; rhizomes present. Stems solitary, 2–10 dm apart; bark gray, brittle, verrucose, frequently forming small plates; branchlets pinkish brown, turning green-maroon, and later gray-maroon, 2 proximal internodes densely pubescent, distal internodes sparsely appressed-hairy; lenticels pale lenticular spots on new growth, uniformly scattered, especially on the distal internodes, protruding and extruding corky tissue on 2d year branches; pith white in 1st year branches, brown in older branches. Leaves: petiole 2–8 mm; blade lanceolate to ovate, 1.5–8 × 0.5–4 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate to obtuse, abaxial surface pale green, adaxial surface green, turning maroon in full sun, both surfaces with hairs appressed, white to ferruginous; secondary veins 3–4(–5 on some sucker shoots) per side, evenly spaced. Inflorescences usually elongate, sometimes convex or pyramidal, 2.5–5 cm diam., peduncle 20–40 mm; branches and pedicels yellow-green, turning bright red. Flowers: hypanthium appressed-hairy; sepals 0.2–0.5 mm; petals white, 2.3–3 mm. Drupes usually white, occasionally pale blue, oblate-ellipsoid, laterally compressed, 4–8 mm diam.; stone oblate-ellipsoid, 3–6.5 mm diam., smooth, apex rounded to slightly pointed. 2n = 22.

Flowering May–Jul; fruiting Aug–Oct. Fields, meadows, roadsides, fencerows, swamp margins; 0–1500 m; Man., Ont., Que.; Conn., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.

Cornus racemosa, much like C. foemina and C. obliqua, has a coronulate or minutely papillate abaxial leaf surface, visible under high magnification. Cornus gracilis may be a hybrid between C. racemosa and C. foemina. Hybrids between C. obliqua and C. racemosa and C. rugosa are discussed under those species.


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