Cornus obliqua Raf. - Swamp Dogwood

Cornus obliqua plant

Family - Cornaceae

Stems - Woody, multiple. A shrub to 3m tall. Young twigs densely pubescent (tomentose) with mostly grayish hairs, terete.

Cornus obliqua twigNew season's growth.

Cornus obliqua stemOlder stem growth.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate. Petioles to +/-1.5cm long, terete, tomentose, green. Blades elliptic, short-acuminate to acute, entire, to +/-10cm long, +/-3.5cm broad, dull dark green adaxially with a moderate number of malpighian hairs (appearing glabrous), bright whitish below with malpighian hairs on the leaf tissue and tomentose hairs on the veins. Veins expressed below.

Cornus obliqua leaves

Cornus obliqua leafAbaxial leaf surface.

Inflorescence - Terminal cymes, typically flat, definitely broader than tall.

Flowers - Petals 4, white, +/- 3mm long. Stamens 4.

Fruits - Typically globose drupe to 8mm in diameter, bluish-black.

Cornus obliqua fruits

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Rocky stream banks, wet ground.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Sorry I don't have a picture of the flowers here. Another species, Cornus racemosa, has similar flowers but remember the inflorescence of C. obliqua is flattish.
This species has the most narrow leaves of any Cornus in this state. The picture doesn't do the fruits justice, they are brilliant blue.

Photographs taken near Hercules Glade, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 9-10-99, and in Ripley County, MO., 6-5-04.


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