Cornus occidentalis

(Torrey & A. Gray) Coville

Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 4: 117. 1893.

Common names: Creek dogwood
Basionym: Cornus sericea var. occidentalis Torrey & A. Gray Fl. N. Amer. 1: 652. 1840
Synonyms: C. alba var. occidentalis (Torrey & A. Gray) B. Boivin C. californica C. A. Meyer C. californica var. pubescens J. F. Macbride C. sericea subsp. occidentalis (Torrey & A. Gray) Fosberg
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 12. Treatment on page 454. Mentioned on page 451.

Shrubs, to 3 m, flowering at 1 m; rhizomes absent. Stems clustered; bark green to maroon or reddish brown, not corky, loosely verrucose; branchlets red, reddish brown, maroon, or green, mostly erect-hairy when young; lenticels protruding on 2d year branches, area surrounding them not suffused with purple on older branches; pith white. Leaves: petiole 10–20 mm; blade ovate, 5–12 × 2–6 cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex slightly acuminate, abaxial surface white, hairs erect, especially dense near midvein, tufts of erect hairs present in axils of secondary veins, vein hairs brown, appressed, adaxial surface green, hairs appressed; secondary veins 6–7 per side, most arising from proximal 1/2, tertiary veins not prominent. Inflorescences flat-topped, 3–6 cm diam., peduncle 20–40 mm; branches and pedicels maroon. Flowers: hypanthium densely erect-hairy; sepals 0.3–0.7 mm; petals white, 3.5–4 mm. Drupes white, globose, 8 mm diam.; stone oblate-ellipsoid, 4–5 × 5–7 mm, with 3 ridges on each face, furrowed laterally, apex pointed.

Phenology: Flowering May–Jun and Sep–Oct; fruiting Aug–Oct.
Habitat: Wet meadows, bogs, marshes, stream banks, lake shores, river banks.
Elevation: 0–2000 m.


V12 503-distribution-map.jpg

B.C., Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Wash.


F. R. Fosberg (1942) and H. W. Rickett (1944b) examined variation within the Cornus sericea complex in North America. Fosberg regarded the whole complex as a single species, stating that the differences in indumentum were not sufficient to distinguish two taxa. In contrast, Rickett concluded that there were two species, C. occidentalis and C. sericea, and that treatment is followed here.

The illegitimate name Cornus pubescens Nuttall has sometimes been used for this species.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Cornus occidentalis"
Zack E. Murrell +  and Derick B. Poindexter +
(Torrey & A. Gray) Coville +
Cornus sericea var. occidentalis +
Creek dogwood +
B.C. +, Alaska +, Calif. +, Idaho +, Mont. +, Nev. +, Oreg. +  and Wash. +
0–2000 m. +
Wet meadows, bogs, marshes, stream banks, lake shores, river banks. +
Flowering May–Jun and Sep–Oct +  and fruiting Aug–Oct. +
Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. +
C. alba var. occidentalis +, C. californica +, C. californica var. pubescens +  and C. sericea subsp. occidentalis +
Cornus occidentalis +
Cornus subg. Thelycrania +
species +