Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Members of Cornaceae in North America are usually attractive, moisture-loving deciduous trees and shrubs, and many are used in gardens and landscaping where water is available. Some individual species tend to be limited to their native habitat ranges - mountains, creeks, specific latitudes or altitudes - and some adapt quite freely to gardens almost anywhere.

All members of this family have opposite leaves, often so close together they seem to form a whorl. The 4 - petaled and stamened flowers are small, with the lower part of the 4 - lobed calyx joining the pistil to produce fleshy 2 - seeded fruit.

On Montara Mountain, our local member of Cornaceae is Cornus sericea sericea, the Creek Dogwood.



Cornus sericea sericea
Creek Dogwood

Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Flowers: White, tiny, 4 petals; in dense round-topped clusters 2 - 4 inches across.

Blooms: April - May.

Leaves: Oval shapped with pointed tips, in opposite pairs, 2 - 4 inches long, bright or dark green on top, hairy on the underside.

Fruit/Seeds: White balls in umbrella - like clusters in the fall.

Location: Along creeks and moist slopes.

Status: Native - Common.

Further description & Comment: Up to 15 feet tall, deciduous.

Cornus sericea sericea
600x450 JPG - 28K

480x360 JPG - 48K

600x450 JPG - 32K
The creek dogwood can be quite showy most of the year - In midwinter, new growth on the trees is a bright shiny red and tipped with new green leaves as in the picture to the left. Combined with the golden new growth of willow, it creates a dazzling creekside display in the winter light. The white flower clusters developing from the green flower buds (as seen above) follow soon after in spring, to be replaced by the bright white umbrellas of the fruit in fall.


Return to Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family)

Continue to Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

  Plant Listings by: Family & Latin Name Common Name Color
Top of Page     Home