Coefficient of Conservatism:
Coefficient of Wetness:
Along rivers, streams, and lakes, often forming dense thickets on banks and shores; marshes and swamps; sandy oak and pine forests; fencerows and borders of forests; less often in hardwood forests or prairie remnants. The Marquette Co. record may represent planted shrubs (at Ives Lake).
Cornus foemina subsp. foemina ranges well south of Michigan; our populations are all subsp. racemosa (Lam.) J. S. Wilson. The young branchlets are ± 2-angled or ridged and are nearly or quite glabrous. Fruiting plants, with a more paniculate inflorescence than our other dogwoods and bright red stalks, are easily recognized.
The pith is often white even in 2-year-old twigs, but these have distinctly gray bark, which will separate C. foemina from C. sericea; the leaves also have only 3–4 (–5) lateral veins per side (not so strong or parallel as in C. sericea) and are nearly glabrous beneath, especially on the veins. The leaves of C. sericea often have curly pubescence beneath and have the same number of veins as C. amomum, usually 5. Although the latter typically has reddish twigs (not so bright as in C. sericea), it is readily distinguished from all our other species by the strongly expanded style immediately below the stigma (usually slightly exceeding the stigma) and long calyx lobes. The consistently brownish pith in C. amomum is helpful to distinguish it from all species other than C. drummondii and C. foemina. Fresh young branchlets of C. rugosa are distinctive in the purple flecks on green bark, and these are visible as darker spots even on dried specimens when the bark darkens; it also usually has very broad, ± rotund leaves, often somewhat rough on the upper surface, with more lateral veins, on the average, than other species. Cornus ×friedlanderi W. H. Wagner is a hybrid of this species and C. rugosa (Wagner, 1990).