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Alternate Leaf Dogwood

( Cornus alternifolia )

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Alternate Leaf Dogwood
Pagoda Dogwood
Green Osier
Blue Dogwood
Cornaceae
Cornus
Cornus alternifolia
Linnaeus f.
MB, ON, QC, NB, PE, NS, NL
Swida alternifolia
Characteristics

Tree

Deciduous

Partial Shade, Shade

Humus Enriched

Acidophile

Normal, Moist

No

No

No

No
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains, Boreal Plains, Prairies

Woodland, Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field, Riparian

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden, Butterfly, Bird, Hedgerow/Thicket/Windbreak/Screening, Woodland
Design Considerations

400 cm

800 cm

May - Jun

White/Cream

Yes

Yes

Black|Blue


Spring azure| Gossamer wings



Yes

Yes

Yes


Squirrels, Birds, Butterflies, Butterfly Larvae, Bees

No
Conservation Status



Interesting Tidbits

CAUTION: ""We are not recommending the use of these plants for medicinal or food purposes. Many plants are poisonous or harmful if eaten or used externally. The information on food or medicinal value is added for interest only. This information has been gathered from books and its accuracy has not been tested"". (Canadian Wildlife Federation) It is named for its alternate arrangement of leaves which differ from other dogwood which have opposite leaves. The roots, mixed with vinegar, yield a light to dark brown dye. (Kershaw) The dry, bitter fruits are not edible by human standards, but they provide food for grouse, pheasants, wild turkeys and squirrels. (Kershaw) May be confused with C. rugosa which displays opposite paired leaf arrangement (Soper) 64 wildlife species may use it for food; 43 kinds of birds eat berries. (Lady Bird Johnson, 2005) The wood is of no commercial use, but the tree is occasionally used as an ornamental, where its layered form can be displayed to the best advantage. During the construction of grist and seed mills by pioneering families, this tree was one of the species required for a home-built mill. The wood's ability to cope with friction made it a premium material for long life bearings and shaker slides. (Hosie, R.C. - Nat. Trees of CA) Seeds need a cold period before germination can occur. Cuttings can also be taken in the fall for reproduction.


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