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Roughleaf Dogwood

Roughleaf Dogwood
Cornus drummondii
(Order Cornales, Family Cornaceae)

Photo by David Sanchez, 2011

Shrub 2-6 m tall, forming clumps by stems growing from shallow, spreading roots; first year branchlets scabrous, green-olive, becoming light brown. Older branches gray brown; pith of 1 year and older wood light tan to brown.
Leaves: 6-11 cm long, 208 cm wide, broadly ovate to lance-ovate, abruptly tapered to prolonged tips, cuneate to truncate at the base; upper surface scabrous, rough, with curling or Y-shaped hairs; lower surface pilose wooly, whitish, papillose; lateral veins 3-5, arising from the base of the blade.
Inflorescences: Flat-topped to convex cyme usually with 4 main branches, 3-7 cm across, the pedicels 2-7 mm long, liberally covered with appressed and T-shaped trichomes.
Flowers: White or cream colored, densely covered with appressed hairs; floral tube 1-2 mm long; sepals 4, fused at their bases, the lobes 0.5-1 mm long; petals 4, valvate in bud, lanceolate, spreading to revolut in anthesis, 2.5-4 mm long; stamens 4, 2.5-6.5 mm long, inserted at the outer margin of the epigynous disk; ovary inferior, 2-loculed, style 1, cream colored or light green, 2.5-3.5 mm long, the stigma capitate.
Fruits: Drupaceous, 1-seeded, white or rarely light blue, subglobose, 4-7 mm in diameter, stone 3-5 mm in diameter.

Flowering Period: April, May, June, July.

Habitat: Swamps, wet to dry woods, marshes, edges of lakes and rivers.

Etymology: The genus is Latin for horn. The species name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas and these were distributed to museums and scientific institutions around the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, while making a collecting tour of that island.

Conservation status: Not threatened

Distribution: Found in the eastern 2/3's of Kansas (see  It is distributed east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States.

Habitat: Swamps and marshes; wet to dry woods & thickets; lake and stream banks; dry, limestone hills

Video:  Rough Leaf Dogwood Covered with Red Admiral Butterflies

Native Plant Database:
USDA Plant Database:
YouTube: Rough Leaf Dogwood Covered with Red Admiral Butterflies:


Haddock, Michael John 2005. Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 152.
Great Plains Flora Association 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Pp 529.

Image Credits:
Cornus drummondii leaf. Photo by David Sanchez, 2011.
Cornus drummondii flowering., 2009.

Submitted by: David Sanchez, July, 2011.

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Generated on 2011. This website is continuously updated.
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