Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rough-leaf Dogwood

Have you noticed the shrubby plant with white blossoms growing in the fencerow along Refuge Road at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge?  It is Rough-leaf Dogwood, not quite the romantic lacy understory dogwood we see  in East Texas in early spring, but  an attractive plant in its own right.

The plant is also known as Roughleaf Dogwood, Small-flower Dogwood, Cornel Dogwood, or White Cornel and Drummond's Dogwood.  The species name is Cornus drummondii, named for Thomas Drummond, a Scottish naturalist who came to Texas in 1830, and spent nearly two years collecting between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau.  His collections were the first made in Texas that were distributed to scientific institutions and museums around the world, according to the Native Plant database.

Rough-leaf Dogwood will grow as a shrub or can be trimmed into a tree form, reaching about 16 feet in height.  The shrub form provides good nesting cover for small  birds.   It is deciduous, growing in the eastern half of our state, and east to Alabama and north to Ontario, with  the upper surface of the leaves appearing rough.  The clusters of white blossoms may reach 3 inches across and bloom from May - August..  It forms white fruit from August - October  which is quickly eaten by over 40 species of birds.  Fall leaf color is purplish red.  It is a nectar plant for butterflies and attracts native bees.

Rough-leaf dogwood can be propagated by seed or from cuttings.  It readily forms suckers, an asset for naturalized areas.  It is tolerant of a wide variety of soil, light and moisture conditions.

Texas Native Plants - Aggie Horticulture
Native Plant Database

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for identifying this plant and sharing information about it.Friends of HagermanNationalRefuge