Cornus sanguinea L.

common dogwood, blood twig dogwood, European dogwood
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Cornus sanguinea
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Cornus sanguinea: Appearance of the shrub in summer

Appearance of the shrub in summerBranch with opposite leaves with entire margins and 3-4 pairs of  highly marked veins on the underside; the reddish colour of the stems and leaves becomes stronger in autumnInflorescence with numerous white flowers with narrow, long petals, with no involucre of bracts

Cornus: Ancient Latin name for this species

sanguineus, -a, -um: red, the color of blood, because of the color of its branches, particularly in autumn


Habit: Deciduous shrub or small tree 1.5-6 m tall with erect reddish to purple branches and appressed navicular hairs.

Leaves: opposite, deciduous 2.5-9 cm long, simple, with a short petiole; blade ovate or elliptic, entire, acute or acuminate, with 3-5 pairs of arcuate lateral veins, highly marked on the underside.

Flowers: hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, tetramerous, epigynous, small, arranged in corymbiform terminal cymes without bracts, with very small sepals; petals free, 3.5-7 mm long, white; stamens slightly shorter; nectariferous disc present; gynoecium syncarpous, 2-locular, with an inferior ovary; style simple.

Fruit: globose bluish black drupe 0.5 cm in diam., crowned by the remains of the calyx and nectariferous disc. The stone contains two seeds.


It flowers in spring and summer and bears fruit in autumn.

Geographic origin

Native to Europe and SW Asia.


It is cultivated as an ornamental, especially because of the colour of its branches in autumn. Its timber is hard and highly appreciated in woodturning. Its fruits are not edible.

It is propagated from seeds or basal shoots.

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