Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida) is a tall shrub or tree, ranging in height from 7 to 40 feet. It is in reality outside the scope of this book, as we do not aim to include shrubs or trees, but Dogwood is so conspicuous in flower and so closely related to the following species, that it has been included. The large handsome flowers are in full bloom before or just as the leaves commence to appear. So profusely do the large white, flowers, measuring 2 to 4 inches across, cover the whole tree that the appearance, from a little distance, is as though the tree were mantled with snow.
The four, large, notched segments are not petals, but form the involucre and the real flowers are clustered at the center; they have four tiny greenish-white petals and numerous little stamens. This Dogwood is common in dry woods from Me. to Minn, and south to the Gulf.
A. Flowering Dogwood.
B. Dwarf Cornell; Bunchberry.
Bunchberry; Dwarf Cornel (Cornus Canadensis) is really a dwarf as compared to the preceding, for it grows only from 4 to 8 inches high.
The stem is leafless except at the top, at which point, four to six leaves radiate; they are ovate-pointed, shining yellow-green and have five or more deep, parallel ribs. They usually grow in colonies, often so closely together that the leaves overlap and obscure the ground.
What appears like a singled large blossom seated almost within the whorl of leaves, is in reality a cluster of tiny, green-petalled, 4-parted flowers surrounded by four large greenish-white bracts; these pointed outer divisions form what is termed the involucre of the flowers.
In Pall a cluster of scarlet berries takes the place of the flowers, so the plant is attractive at all seasons. It ranges from Labrador to Alaska south to N. J., Ind. and Minn.