Tree to 4 m tall, trunk to 30 cm in diameter Leaves: opposite, 4 - 9 cm long, 3 - 4.5 cm wide, elliptic to narrow egg-shaped with arching (arcuate) veins, non-toothed, hairs rough above and soft beneath. Flowers: borne in loose, round-topped clusters, each with four thin, white petals. Fruit: fleshy with one or two center seeds (drupe), borne on red stalks, white, 6 - 8 mm wide. Bark: reddish brown, shallowly furrowed and scaly. Twigs: brown to purplish or gray, smooth or slightly hairy. Buds: egg-shaped, flattened, pointed, hairy.
Similar species: Cornus drummondii has the arching leaf venation characteristic of the genus. It can be distinguished from other dogwoods because it is a tree that blooms from late June to early July, has brown to purplish or gray stems, leaves with rough hairs above and soft hairs beneath, and clusters of white fruit on red stalks.
Flowering: late June to early July
Habitat and ecology: Fields, meadows, and along the edges of woods and prairies. This species used to be rare in the Chicago Region. It is planted in landscapes to prevent soil erosion, and now many spontaneously occurring specimens are actually escapes.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Notes: Tool handles are made from the strong wood. Birds and small mammals use the tree for food and shelter.
Etymology: Cornus comes from the Latin word, cornu, meaning horn, referring to its hard wood. Drummondii is named after Scottish plant explorer, Thomas Drummond (1780 - 1835).
Shrubs or occasionally small trees to 6 m; twigs scabrous, olive to pinkish-brown, with white or tan pith; old bark gray, sometimes fissuring; lvs lance-ovate to elliptic or broadly ovate, mostly 5-8 cm, commonly abruptly acuminate, broadly cuneate to subcordate at base, scabrous-strigose above and evidently rough to the touch, minutely papillose-whitened beneath and with appressed or spreading hairs often 0.5 mm; lateral veins 3 or 4(5) on a side, tending to arise from the lower half of the blade; infl flat or convex; fr white (light blue), 4-8 mm, on red pedicels; 2n=22. Wet woods and streambanks; O. and s. Mich. to s. Wis., Io., and Neb., s. to Ga. and Tex. May, June. (C. priceae)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.