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Cornaceae: Dogwood Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Cornaceae
Plants of the Dogwood Family

      The dogwoods are trees, shrubs or woody plants with usually opposite or apparently whorled leaves. The big, showy flowers of some dogwoods are illusionary. The showy, whitish "petals" are really bracts, while the true flowers are much smaller and clustered together in the center. There are usually 4 of these petal-like bracts, but the number may vary. The flowers are regular and usually, but not always, bisexual, with 4 or 5 (rarely 0) small, separate sepals, and a similar number of usually white, separate petals. There are 4 or 5 stamens. The ovary is positioned inferior, consisting of 2 (sometimes 1, 3, or 4) united carpels (syncarpous) with the partition walls present, forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a berry, or sometimes a drupe, a fleshy fruit with a stoney pit in the middle. As currently described, the Dogwood family includes 7 genera and about 110 species, of which only dogwoods (Cornus) and tupelo (Nyssa) are native to North America. Other cultivated genera from the family include Aucuba, Corokia, Curtisia, Griselinia and Helwingia.

Key Words:
Trees, shrubs or woody plants with opposite or whorled leaves, showy bracts and fleshy fruits.

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Cornus canadensis. Bunchberry.

Cornus canadensis. Bunchberry.

Cornus canadensis. Bunchberry.

Cornus canadensis. Bunchberry.

Cornus stolonifera. Red-Osier Dogwood.

Cornus stolonifera. Red-Osier Dogwood.

Cornus stolonifera. Red-Osier Dogwood.

Cornus stolonifera. Red-Osier Dogwood.

There are more
Dogwood Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


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Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
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Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
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Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
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