Cornus rugosa (Round-leaved Dogwood)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; upland deciduous and mixed forest, thickets, rocky slopes|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||6 to 10 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flat to rounded top clusters, 1 to 2¾ inches broad, of short-stalked flowers at the tips of branches. Flowers are creamy white, about ¼ inch across with 4 lance-elliptic petals, the sepals minute. The 4 stamens are longer than the petals, spreading to ascending around the single white style at center.
Leaves and bark:
Leaves are simple and opposite, 2-6 inches long by 1½-4 inches wide, broadly elliptical to nearly round, the tip abruptly tapered to a short point, the base rounded to a1/3 to ¾ inch stalk. The upper surface is dark green with short appressed hairs and 6 to 9 evenly spaced, lateral veins per side, the lower surface paler with longer, soft hairs. Edges are smooth.
Twigs are greenish to reddish brown or purplish, flecked with darker pigments, mostly smooth or with very fine, often scattered hairs. Older bark on the lower stems is greenish or brownish gray and roughish from old lenticels (pores).
The dogwoods are distinguished from other flowering shrubs by the clusters of small, 4-petaled white flowers and opposite (except for 1 species) leaves that are toothless and have prominent, arching, lateral veins. Like our other dogwoods, Round-leaved Dogwood is an understory species of upland forest, both hardwood and conifer. Semi-shade tolerant, it prefers thinner canopies or openings and wood margins. The leaves may be confused with those of Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), which are typically not as broad, are alternate, and have 5 or 6 veins per side, where Round-leaved Dogwood leaves have 6 to 9 veins per side, are opposite and typically much rounder, plus the shrub's form lacks the layered branches of Pagoda Dogwood.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aikin and Pine counties. Pollinator photos courtesy Heather Holm.
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