Cornus foemina ssp racemosa (Lam.) J.S. Wilson

Gray Dogwood

Cornus foemina ssp. racemosa plant

Family - Cornaceae

Stems - Woody, multiple from base, to +/-3m tall. New season's growth densely pubescent. Twigs reddish.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate. Petioles to +1cm long, densely pubescent. Blades broadly elliptic to broadly ovate, abruptly acuter to acuminate, entire, to +/-10cm long, +/-7cm broad, densely pubescent and green above (the pubescence erect to appressed), silvery-green and densely pubescent below.

Inflorescence - Terminal domed cymes, typically as high as broad when mature, to +/-9cm long (tall). Branches of inflorescence densely pubescent. The pubescence typically erect.

Flowers - Petals 4, distinct, +/-4mm long, 2mm broad, glabrous, acute, whitish. Stamens 4, alternating with petals, erect, exserted. Filaments to 4mm long, whitish, glabrous. Anthers yellowish, 1.1mm long. Style glabrous, whitish, 2.2mm long. Stigma capitate. Ovary inferior, 2-locular. Calyx tube pubescent, creamy white, 2mm long, 1.8mm in diameter, with 4 minute lobes. Lobes to .4mm long, acute.

Cornus foemina ssp. racemosa flowersFlowers.

Fruits - White, globose, 5-6mm in diameter, on red stalks.

Cornus foemina ssp. racemosa fruitsFruits.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Moist ground, prairie borders, thickets, slopes, roadsides, sometimes cultivated.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This plant produces many suckers and will form dense colonies if conditions are right. It flowers earlier than most other Cornus in the state.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 10-6-99 and 5-19-00.