Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: redosier dogwood Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FACW General: Clumpy deciduous shrub to 2 m tall, branches red to purplish, glabrous to minutely strigose. Leaves: Opposite, ovate with short petioles 5-8 cm long 1-5 cm wide, bright green, glabrous to sparsely pubescent above, conspicuously whitish glaucous to finely pubescent below, margins entire, with tufts of hairs in the axils of the veins. Flowers: Flat topped cyme of small white flowers, 4 minute sepals, 4 spreading petals, these white to cream and 2-3 mm long. Fruits: Two seeded drupe about 8 mm in diameter and white. Ecology: Found in moist soils along streams from 4,500-10,000 ft (1372-3048 m); flowers May-July. Notes: Based on its habit you could confuse this species with Apocynum cannabinum given its opposite leaves and reddish stems, but pay attention the leaves being much bigger, a more vibrant tone of green, and being on the whole part of a much larger plant. Ethnobotany: Taken for colds, as a cough medicine, for fevers, for diarrhea and intestinal worms, the fruit was eaten raw, dried, branches used for basketry, other building materials, as a bitter tonic, and used ceremonially. Etymology: Cornus is the Latin name for dogwood, while sericea means silky. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010
Shrub 1-3 m, often forming dense thickets; twigs bright red; pith large and white; lvs lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, mostly 5-10 cm and a third to two-thirds as wide, acute to gradually acuminate at the tip, acute to broadly rounded at base, distinctly whitened beneath; lateral veins in well grown lvs 5-7 to a side; infl flat or slight convex; fr white (reputedly sometimes blue), 7-9 mm; stone brownish-black, with 7-9 vertical yellow stripes; 2n=22. Streambanks and moist woods; Nf. to Alas., s. to Pa., Ind., Ill., and n. Mex. May-Aug. Pubescence of the lower lf-surface typically sparse and strictly appressed, that of the twigs minute and mostly appressed. (C. baileyi, a form common about the Great Lakes and in s. Ont., with the pubescence partly spreading; C. interior, a chiefly western form, also found e. to Mich. and Ind., with the infl and twigs tomentose) (C. stolonifera)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Infrequent to rare in swamps and wet places, mostly in the lake area. Nos. 2, 3, 5, and 7 [Cornus florida, C. alternifolia, C. sericea, and C. racemosa] flower about 2 weeks earlier than the other species. I reported [variety baileyi] from Lagrange County but I am now referring that specimen to Cornus sericea. All of my specimens are from the dune area bordering Lake Michigan except one from Starke County which was collected in low ground along the Kankakee River. Infrequent to rare in swamps and wet places, mostly in the lake area. Nos. 2, 3, 5, and 7 [Cornus florida, C. alternifolia, C. sericea, and C. racemosa] flower about 2 weeks earlier than the other species. I reported [variety baileyi] from Lagrange County but I am now referring that specimen to Cornus sericea. All of my specimens are from the dune area bordering Lake Michigan except one from Starke County which was collected in low ground along the Kankakee River.
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