Cornus alternifolia
Common name: 
Pagoda Dogwood
KOR-nus al-ter-ni-FO-li-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree/shrub, 15-25 ft (4.5-8 m) tall, spreading, horizontal, low branching, (branches in tiers on main trunk, hence the "pagoda dogwood").  Leaves are arranged in an alternate manner along the twig (unusual for a dogwood), but crowded near ends of twigs and appear as if whorled, 4-13 cm long, dark green above and whitish below.  Foliage red in autumn.  Flowers yellowish-white, borne in flat-topped clusters (cymes), 4-6.5 cm across, not very showy.  Fruit green, white and finally bluish-black, about 7 mm diam., ripens in midsummer.
  • Sun to part shade.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3          Native range from New Brunswick east to Minnesota and south to Georgia and Alabama.
  • alternifolia: having alternate leaves.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: north side of Buxton dorm on Jefferson Ave.
Click image to enlarge
  • spring flowering in habitat

    spring flowering in habitat

  • plant habit, flowering shrub

    plant habit, flowering shrub

  • leaves and flower clusters

    leaves and flower clusters

  • leaf


  • tree habit, flowering

    tree habit, flowering

  • flowering branches

    flowering branches

  • opening flowers

    opening flowers

  • flower cluster

    flower cluster

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • fruiting branches

    fruiting branches

  • fruit cluster and leaves

    fruit cluster and leaves

  • after fruit drop

    after fruit drop

  • plant habit and leaf, fall

    plant habit and leaf, fall

  • winter twig and buds

    winter twig and buds