Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

[ Trees > Hardwoods > Understory Trees . . . ]

Forest Types: Multiple


Bush-like understory tree with plate-like mature bark; simple, toothless and opposite leaves with deep veins; spring flowers with 4 prominent, white bracts; growing east of the Mississippi River.

by Michael Kuo

Habitat: Understory tree typically mixed with other hardwoods; growing east of the Great Plains.

Stature: Rarely 40 feet high; to 1 foot in diameter; spreading and bush-like.

Leaves: 3-6 inches long; pointed-oval; simple; toothless; with prominent veins that arise from the lower two-thirds of the central vein; bright green above; pale green below (scarlet in fall).

Bark: Dark reddish brown; when mature broken into distinctive, squarish plates.

Flowers: Inconspicuous, but surrounded by four large white bracts (often construed as a "flower"); fruits in clusters, reminiscent of pointy green olives, becoming scarlet with maturity.

Expanded treatment of this tree can be found at our companion site,, here.

(References consulted)

Frequent Mushroom Associates:

Since flowering dogwood is an understory tree in a variety of eastern forests, many mushrooms appear in its vicinity; whether these are mycorrhizal with the dogwoods or the canopy trees is up for grabs. I frequently find Daedaleopsis confragosa on the wood of flowering dogwood.


Cornus florida

Cornus florida

Cornus florida

Cornus florida

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2005, August). Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: