Cornus florida L.

(Photo By UGA Herbarium)
Stephanie Kaye Greene


--> C. florida is also known as the Flowering Dogwood and the White Dogwood (Vaucher 1996).

--> Higher Taxa for C. florida (Jones, 1979):
-------> Division -- Magnoliophyta
-------> Class -- Magnoliopsida
-------> Subclass -- Magnoliidae
-------> Order -- Cornales
-------> Family -- Cornaceae
-------> Genus -- Cornus
--> Linnaeus originally described C. florida. The Index Kewensis gives a reference to Linnaeus╣ description (Linn. Sp. Pl. 117 - Am.bor), but I was unable to locate the original document (Jackson, 1895). The UGA Herbarium contains a specimen of C. florida. This species is described within an identification key by Radford, Ahles, and Bell (1968):

--> A small tree 5-15 m tall, often with several trunks from an old root crown, with reddish to black bark broken into a checkered pattern of small squares. Leaves widely elliptic, mostly 6-10 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, pubescent or glabrescent above, strigillose beneath, appearing after the flowers. Heads compact, subtended by 4 showy, white or pink, obovate, involucral bracts 2-5 cm long, 1.5-3/5 cm wide, notched at apex. Drupes red, ellipsoid, 8-18 mm long, 4-8 mm in diam.

The photo below shows the red fruits of the Flowering Dogwood. (Photo By UGA Herbarium)
--> C. florida is widespread throughout the Eastern United States. It is also found in eastern New Mexico (Vaucher, 1996). Following is a table containing an overview of the species distribution.

AREA STATUS REFERENCES
North America: Continental United States; Canada Yes Brown, 1990
Eastern North America: United States east of Mississippi; Ontario and eastern Canada Yes Brown, 1990
Southeastern United States: AL AR DE DC FL GA KY MD NC SC TN VA WV Yes Brown, 1990
Southern Appalachian States: AL GA KY MD NC SC TN VA WV Yes Brown, 1990
Coastal Plain Widespread Brown, 1990
Piedmont Widespread Brown, 1990
Blue Ridge Mountains Yes Brown, 1990
Great Smoky Mountains National Park ? -->
Ridge and Valley Yes Brown, 1990
Cumberland Plateau Yes Brown, 1990
Central Arch Yes Brown, 1990
Georgia Yes Brown, 1990
Clarke County, Georgia Yes UGA Herbarium Specimen
Sams Farm Common Stephanie Greene Pers. Ob.
--> Old Field No Adults Stephanie Greene Pers. Ob.
--> Wetland ? -->
--> Woods Common Stephanie Greene Pers. Ob.
--> 1-Hectare Plot Common Stephanie Greene Pers. Ob.


--> The Flowering Dogwood is well known to inhabit understories and some open areas with moist soils near streams to well-drained upland areas (Duncan, 1988). As mentioned above, C. florida is widespread through the eastern United States including Georgia and Athens, Clark County. It is widely planted as well for cultivation (Cowan, 1992). Sometimes the dogwoods disturbed in such a way to leave open wounds which subject them to infections. Birds aid in seed dispersal when they eat the dogwood fruits which develop in autumn. White or pink flowers bloom in the spring.

--> The beautiful flowers of C. florida prompt people to touch and sometimes pick them from the trees. The White Dogwood is not poisonous to touch and so approaching them is no problem. When flowers are not in bloom, the trees can be recognized by their leaves and bark (in spring) and fruits (in autumn). To get a glimpse of C. florida at Sam╣s Farm would be easy as there is one adjacent to transect 1,0,100 (observed by Ecology 350 students).

References