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alaskan bunchberry, western bunchberry, western cordilleran bunchberry

American dogwood, cornouiller stolonifère, Hart rouge, red willow, red-osier dogwood, redtwig dogwood

Habit Shrubs, to 4 m, flowering at 1 m; rhizomes absent.

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, branches occasionally arching to the ground and rooting at nodes;

bark yellow to red, not corky, loosely verrucose;

branchlets bright red, reddish brown, maroon, or green, occasionally green in winter and maroon in summer, appressed-hairy when young;

lenticels protruding on 2d year branches, area surrounding them not suffused with purple on older branches;

pith white.


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 5–38 mm;

blade lanceolate, elliptic, or ovate, 3.5–20 × 1.5–12 cm, base cuneate, apex acute to acuminate, abaxial surface white, hairs appressed except near secondary vein axils, tufts of erect hairs present in axils of secondary veins, adaxial surface green, hairs appressed, sparse;

secondary veins 5–7 per side, most arising from proximal 1/2, tertiary veins not prominent.



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-topped, 3–6 cm diam., peduncle 20–40 mm;

branches and pedicels green to yellow-green, turning maroon in fruit.


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


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 densely appressed-hairy;

sepals 0.2–0.6 mm;

petals white to cream, 2.5–4 mm.


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.

white, globose or subglobose, 6–10 mm diam.;

stone subglobose, laterally compressed, 4–6 × 4–6 × 1.5–3 mm, furrowed laterally, apex rounded.


= 44.

= 22.

Cornus unalaschkensis

Cornus sericea

Phenology Flowering May–Aug; fruiting Aug–Oct. Flowering May–Jun and Sep–Oct; fruiting Aug–Oct.
Habitat Maritime copse or heath, maritime coniferous forests and bog woodlands, moist broadleaf or coniferous forests. Wet meadows, thickets, edges of mesic upland forests, fens, marshes, swamps, stream banks, lake shores, river banks.
Elevation 0–3000 m. (0–9800 ft.) 0–2500 m. (0–8200 ft.)
from FNA
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AK; AZ; CA; CO; CT; DE; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MT; ND; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NV; NY; OH; OR; PA; RI; SD; UT; VA; VT; WA; WI; WV; WY; AB; BC; MB; NB; NL; NS; NT; ON; PE; QC; SK; YT; SPM; Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo León) [Introduced w Europe]
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As the synonymy implies, Cornus sericea has received considerable attention from taxonomists wishing to subdivide the species, presumably in order to make it more comprehensible. Most of the divisions have been based upon indumentum and stone differences, although habit has also been used. Although one of the synonyms and one of the common names imply a stoloniferous habit, the species is not stoloniferous; evidently, branch tips infrequently arching to the ground and rooting at the nodes led to confusion regarding the growth habit. H. W. Rickett (1944b) examined the morphology of the various forms, varieties, and subspecies, and found extensive overlap using fruit shape and indumentum differences. It is not known whether the variation is due to primary differentiation or secondary intergradation, and the complex is treated here as a single species. There is little doubt that the European species C. alba Linnaeus is closely related to C. sericea and should be included in any future studies of this species complex.

The name Cornus stolonifera has sometimes been applied to C. sericea (for example, H. W. Rickett 1944b) because the description by Linnaeus of the latter could apply to several currently recognized species. F. R. Fosberg (1942) lectotypified C. sericea, establishing that it applies to this species.

Cornus sericea is commonly planted as an ornamental and occasionally escapes; plants in suburban areas and in highly acidic soils are suspected as non-natural occurrences. Putative hybrids between C. sericea and C. rugosa have been called C. ×slavinii Rehder, and are reported from Maine, New York, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Wisconsin.

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

Source FNA vol. 12, p. 448. FNA vol. 12, p. 453.
Parent taxa Cornaceae > Cornus > subg. Arctocrania Cornaceae > Cornus > subg. Thelycrania
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. 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. sessilis, C. suecica, C. unalaschkensis
Synonyms Arctocrania unalaschkensis, Chamaepericlymenum unalaschkense, Cornella unalaschkensis, Swida unalaschkensis C. alba subsp. baileyi, C. alba subsp. stolonifera, C. baileyi, C. instolonea, C. interior, C. nelsonii, C. stolonifera, Swida interior, S. stolonifera, S. stolonifera var. riparia
Name authority Ledebour: Fl. Ross. 2: 378. (1844) Linnaeus: Mant. Pl. 2: 199. (1771)
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