Flowering Dogwood Boxwood
=Habitat and Range.=--Woodlands, rocky hillsides, moist, gravelly
Provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
Maine,--Fayette Ridge, Kennebec county; New Hampshire,--along the
Atlantic coast and very near the Connecticut river, rarely farther north
than its junction with the West river; Vermont,--southern and
southwestern sections, rare; Massachusetts,--occasional throughout the
state, common in the Connecticut river valley, frequent eastward; Rhode
Island and Connecticut,--common.
South to Florida; west to Minnesota and Texas.
=Habit.=--A small tree, 15-30 feet high, with a trunk diameter of 6-10
inches. The spreading branches form an open, roundish head, the young
twigs curving upwards at their extremities. In spring, when decked with
its abundant, showy white blossoms, it is the fairest of the minor trees
of the forest; in autumn, scarcely less beautiful in the rich reds of
its foliage and fruit.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk in old trees blackish, broken-ridged, rough,
often separating into small, firm, 4-angled or roundish plates; branches
grayish, streaked with white lines; season's twigs purplish-green,
downy; taste bitter.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Terminal leaf-buds narrowly conical, acute;
flower-buds spherical or vertically flattened, grayish. Leaves simple,
opposite, 3-5 inches long, two-thirds as wide, dark green above, whitish
beneath, turning to reds, purples, and yellows in the autumn, ovate to
oval, nearly smooth, with minute appressed pubescence on both surfaces;
apex pointed; base acutish; veins distinctly indented above, ribs
curving upward and parallel; leafstalk short-grooved.
=Inflorescence.=--May to June. Appearing with the unfolding leaves in
close clusters at the ends of the branches, each cluster subtended by
a very conspicuous 4-leafed involucre (often mistaken for the corolla
and constituting all the beauty of the blossom), the leaves of which are
white or pinkish, 1-1/2 inches long, obovate, curiously notched at the
rounded end. The real flowers are insignificant, suggesting the tubular
disk flowers of the Compositae; calyx-tube coherent with the ovary,
surmounting it by 4 small teeth; petals greenish-yellow, oblong,
reflexed; stamens 4; pistil with capitate style.
=Fruit.=--Ovoid, scarlet drupes, about 1/2 inch long, united in
clusters, persistent till late autumn or till eaten by the birds.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in southern and southern-central New
England, but liable farther north to be killed outright or as far down
as the surface of the snow; not only one of the most attractive small
trees on account of its flowers, habit, and foliage, but one of the most
useful for shady places or under tall trees. The species, a
red-flowering and also a weeping variety are obtainable in leading
nurseries. Collected plants can be made to succeed. It is a plant of
rather slow growth.
3. Flowering branch.
5. Fruiting branch.
=Cornus alternifolia, L. f.=
DOGWOOD. GREEN OSIER.
=Habitat and Range.=--Hillsides, open woods and copses, borders of
streams and swamps.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick along the valley of the St. Lawrence
river to the western shores of Lake Superior.
Common throughout New England.
South to Georgia and Alabama; west to Minnesota.
=Habit.=--A shrub or small tree, 6-20 feet high, trunk diameter 3-6
inches; head usually widest near the top, flat; branches nearly
horizontal with lateral spray, the lively green, dense foliage lying in
=Bark.=--Trunk and larger branches greenish, warty, streaked with gray;
season's shoots bright yellowish-green or purplish, oblong-dotted.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, acute. Leaves simple, alternate
or sometimes opposite, clustered at the ends of the branchlets, 2-4
inches long, dark green on the upper side, paler beneath, with minute
appressed pubescence on both sides, ovate to oval, almost entire; apex
long-pointed; base acutish or rounded; veins indented above, ribs
curving upward and parallel; petiole long, slender, and grooved.
=Inflorescence.=--June. From shoots of the season, in irregular open
cymes; calyx coherent with ovary, surmounting it by 4 minute teeth;
corolla white or pale yellow, with the 4 oblong petals at length
reflexed: stamens 4, exserted; style short, with capitate stigma.
=Fruit.=--October. Globular, blue or blue black, on slender, reddish
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England, adapting itself to
a great variety of situations, but preferring a soil that is constantly
moist. Nursery or good collected plants are easily transplanted. A
disease, similar in its effect to the pear blight, so often disfigures
it that it is not desirable for use in important plantations.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Flower with one petal and two stamens removed, side view.
4. Flower, view from above.
5. Fruiting branch.
=Nyssa sylvatica, Marsh.=