Plant DetailShow Menu

Stiff Dogwood Cornus foemina

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cornus stricta
Phonetic Spelling
KOR-nus fem-min-nuh
Description

Stiff dogwood is a flowering shrub or small tree with attractive red twigs.  The twigs become gray with age.  It can be found growing in the wild in both swamps, streambanks, marshes as well as upland locations.  It prefers a moist habitat but can adapt to dryer conditions.

It can be grown from seed.  The seeds can be stored and planted without extracting from the fruit.  Sowing can take place immediately after harvesting or stratified for next spring.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  The blooms have an unpleasant odor.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#native tree#native shrub#flowering tree#NC native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#native tree#native shrub#flowering tree#NC native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cornus
    Species:
    foemina
    Family:
    Cornaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    E. Central and SE U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for the Summer Azure Butterfly.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Screening
    Textural
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A two-seeded drupe replaces the spent blooms. The drupe is blue in color and 1/4" in diameter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The white flowers form in clusters on flat-headed panicles. Each flower has 4 petals. They bloom from late spring to early summer. After blooming they are replaced by a seeded drupe.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are veined. The hairless upper leaf is medium to dark green. The lower leaf is lighter green in color and may have a minimal amount of hair.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    The trunk and larger branches have gray bark, while the smaller branches are brown. Young twigs are red. As they age, they will turn a darker reddish-brown.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies