Cornus capitata
Common name: 
Evergreen Dogwood
Bentham's Cornel
Pronunciation: 
KOR-nus kap-i-TA-ta
Family: 
Cornaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Evergreen tree/shrub, may reach 50 ft (15 m) when grown as a tree, but often smaller (20-30 ft; 6-9 m); may have similar width; horizontal branches.  Bark brown or blackish gray.  Leaves evergreen, simple, opposite, 5-12 cm, variable, ovate to lanceolate, leathery to thin, dark green above, gray-green below with dense appressed pubescence; turn red or purplish in fall.  True flowers white, small, and in small terminal heads, surrounded by 4-6 large, 2-4 × 4-8 cm, rich cream color to pale yellow bracts, occasionally white, appear in summer.  Fruit fleshy, rounded to strawberry-like, 2.5 cm across, green then crimson, reportedly edible, sweet; can be a litter problem.
  • Sun to light shade.  Unless grown from cuttings, trees don't flower until 8 to 10 years old (Sunset Western Garden Book).
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 8    Native to evergreen and mixed forests, 1,000-3,200 m elevation; China (Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan), Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal.
  • capitata: growing in a dense head, presumably a reference to the true flower cluster.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: two large trees behind Shepard Hall
Click image to enlarge
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    plant habit, flowering

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    flower and leaves

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    flower and leaves

  • leafy branch, in shade

    leafy branch, in shade

  • leaves, in shade

    leaves, in shade

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  • leaves

    leaves

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • immature fruit and leaves

    immature fruit and leaves

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    ripe fruit and leaves

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark