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).
Stems are single or multiple from the ground, mostly straight and nearly simple with spreading branches above. The spreading root system readily suckers, creating colonies.
Fruit is a round, berry like drupe, about ¼ inch diameter, white or with a blueish flush, the cluster stalks a dull red often retaining reddish, aborted fruit.
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.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?
on: 2017-09-03 12:28:25
We discovered this shrub next to our parking area. It is on the edge of the very rocky hill about 300 feet from and maybe 80 fee above Crow Creek. We have at least two and have not looked for more.
on: 2017-09-16 06:15:47
I found this on a northern slope not too far from a marsh in Elm Creek. I was wondering what the dogwood looking plant with green stalks was!
on: 2018-01-03 18:15:25
I had never seen this plant in some 30 years of trudging about until this summer when here (in, sorry,SE Wisconsin)I noticed an extensive number of them on a slope covering abundant large-flowered trillium and blue cohosh----a very handsome plant.
on: 2018-08-14 04:56:37
I have many of these in my wooded area. Finally identified which type of dogwood this year. Pretty when blooming in the spring.
on: 2020-08-29 16:38:38
We have many round leaved dogwoods on our lot on Hart Lake, near Goodland. They are growing on steep hillsides under red and white pines. They often are infected with galls and there is a lot of dieback. But new shoots keep coming from the base. The birds love the berries.
on: 2022-06-18 05:01:01
Popped up in my folks garden exactly at the right place. We managed to get one trunk with a nice crown. Flowers are fragrant. Some years it gets decimated by a beetle but it pops right back next year. Favorite tree by far.
on: 2022-07-01 22:45:29
Along both sides of west end of Orange Lake Road off Co. Rd. 48, Suomi Hills, north of Deer River.