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Stiff cornel, Swamp dogwood, Stiff dogwood
Cornus foemina

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

General Landscape Uses: Water gardens and along pond and lake edges.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and native plant nurseries in central and northern Florida.

Description: Small tree or large shrub with a flat crown from many slender upright branches. Trunks usually short, branching near the ground. Bark smooth, interrupted by small ridges exposing brown inner bark. Leaves deciduous, dark green above, smooth to slightly hairy.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height. Often as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southern and eastern United States west to Texas and south to Martin County and the Monroe County mainland. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map (as C. stricta), visit the Exploring Florida website. Note that Little did not record plants in South Florida, where the population mostly extends southward to the west of Lake Okeechobee into the Big Cypress Swamp and nearby areas.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Wet hammocks and swamps.

Soils: Wet to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained organic soils.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: Creamy white.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: Spring.

Fruit: Blue globular drupe.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and moderate amounts of cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Plant in moist organic soil and place in light shade or full sun.

References: Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Cornus foemina available from:

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