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alaskan bunchberry, western bunchberry, western cordilleran bunchberry

alternate-leaf dogwood, cornouiller à feuilles alternes, pagoda dogwood

Habit Shrubs or trees, to 12 m, flowering at 2 m.
Stems

erect, green, 6–22 cm, appressed-hairy;

nodes 4–6, internodes progressively longer distally;

branches only at distalmost node, much shorter than distal internodes so stems appear unbranched.

clustered;

bark thick, corky, plates rectangular, 0.5–1 cm wide;

branchlets usually green to yellowish green, sometimes reddish brown, glabrous;

lenticels lenticular, then splitting periderm longitudinally.

Leaves

at proximal 2–4 nodes nonchlorophyllous, opposite, ± scalelike, caducous (rarely chlorophyllous at 3d node from apex but much smaller than more distal leaves), at 2d node from apex nonchlorophyllous proximally, chlorophyllous distally, opposite, well developed, persistent, at distalmost node chlorophyllous, appearing to be in whorl of 6, well developed, persistent;

distalmost leaves much bigger than those at 2 more proximal nodes;

petiole 0–3.4 mm;

blade ovate to elliptic, 3.5–8 × 0.9–4 cm, apex acute or short acuminate, abaxial surface pale green, hairs sparsely appressed-hairy, adaxial surface green, appressed-hairy;

secondary veins 3 per side, all arising from proximal 1/2.

petiole 20–50 mm;

blade narrowly to broadly ovate or obovate, 4–12 × 2.3–7 cm, base usually cuneate, rarely rounded, apex abruptly acuminate or cuspidate, abaxial surface yellow-green, papillose, appressed-hairy, adaxial surface dark green, glabrate;

secondary veins 5–6 per side, most arising from basal 1/2.

Inflorescences

20–40-flowered;

peduncle 13–30 mm;

primary branches 0–2 mm;

bracts greenish white or white, often red-tipped, unequal, 2 ovate, 21–30 × 12–13 mm, 2 suborbiculate, 17–1.9 × 13–16 mm, apex acuminate.

flat to hemispheric, 3–15 cm diam., 50–100-flowered;

peduncle 30–60 mm;

branches and pedicels yellow-green, turning red in fruit, alternate on central axis, proximal 2–3 orders with minute bracts.

Pedicels

0.4–1.6 mm, sparsely appressed-hairy or glabrous.

Flowers

hypanthium cream to mottled purple, 1.2–2 mm, densely appressed-hairy;

sepals mottled purple and cream, 0.1–0.4 mm, apex rounded or acute, thick, sparsely hairy on margin, densely glandular;

petals cream proximally, purple distally, 1.5–1.8 mm, apical awn 0.4–0.6 mm;

nectary dark purple or black.

hypanthium appressed-hairy;

sepals 0–0.2 mm;

petals cream, 2.5–4 mm.

Drupes

10–20 per inflorescence, red, globose, 6–8 mm;

stone globose or subglobose, 2.7–3.4 × 2.1–3.4 mm, longitudinally grooved, apex slightly pointed.

blue, globose, 5–8 mm diam.;

stone subglobose, laterally compressed, 5–6 × 5–6 × 4 mm, slightly ribbed.

2n

= 44.

= 20.

Cornus unalaschkensis

Cornus alternifolia

Phenology Flowering May–Aug; fruiting Aug–Oct. Flowering Apr–Jun; fruiting Jun–Aug.
Habitat Maritime copse or heath, maritime coniferous forests and bog woodlands, moist broadleaf or coniferous forests. Deciduous hardwood forests, usually mesic or dry-mesic, loamy soils, rocky slopes.
Elevation 0–3000 m. (0–9800 ft.) 10–2000 m. (0–6600 ft.)
Distribution
from FNA
AK; CA; ID; OR; WA; AB; BC; YT
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AL; AR; CT; DC; DE; FL; GA; IA; IL; IN; KY; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; NC; NH; NJ; NY; OH; PA; RI; SC; TN; VA; VT; WI; WV; MB; NB; NF; NS; ON; PE; QC; SPM
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

Cornus alternifolia persists around abandoned homesteads in Nebraska and occasionally escapes, but does not appear to be naturalized there. A putative hybrid in Nova Scotia between C. alternifolia and C. sericea was named C. ×acadiensis by M. L. Fernald (1941c).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 12, p. 448. FNA vol. 12, p. 450.
Parent taxa Cornaceae > Cornus > subg. Arctocrania Cornaceae > Cornus > subg. Mesomora
Sibling taxa
C. alternifolia, C. amomum, C. asperifolia, C. canadensis, C. drummondii, C. florida, C. foemina, C. glabrata, C. kousa, C. mas, C. nuttallii, C. obliqua, C. occidentalis, C. racemosa, C. rugosa, C. sanguinea, C. sericea, C. sessilis, C. suecica
C. amomum, C. asperifolia, C. canadensis, C. drummondii, C. florida, C. foemina, C. glabrata, C. kousa, C. mas, C. nuttallii, C. obliqua, C. occidentalis, C. racemosa, C. rugosa, C. sanguinea, C. sericea, C. sessilis, C. suecica, C. unalaschkensis
Synonyms Arctocrania unalaschkensis, Chamaepericlymenum unalaschkense, Cornella unalaschkensis, Swida unalaschkensis Bothrocaryum alternifolium, C. alterna, Swida alternifolia
Name authority Ledebour: Fl. Ross. 2: 378. (1844) Linnaeus f.: Suppl. Pl., 125. (1782)
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