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An individual instance of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
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This small tree is located southeast of the Divinity School in front of a large magnolia tree and next to the sidewalk that marks the north side of Library Lawn.

To learn more about the history of this tree, go to its history page.

Because of its showy, white "flowers" in spring, flowering dogwood is the most noticeable dogwood species.  The "petals" of the inflorescence are actually bracts and not a part of the flowers which are yellow and clustered in the center.  Other common dogwood species in this area do not have the showy white bracts.  The opposite leaves of dogwoods are distinctive with their parallel veins curving around to follow the leaf margins toward the pointed tip of the leaf.  The bark of dogwood is easily recognized year-round because of the small, round flakes that cover its surface.  The red fruits of dogwood are also noticeable in the fall and winter.

This very distinctive species is common in the wild throughout Tennessee.  It is one of the most popular native ornamental shrubs and is planted many places on Vanderbilt campus.  Usually flowering dogwood is seen as a shrub or small tree, but if you are lucky you can be surprised to find tree-sized specimens towering over your head in an undisturbed forest.

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This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 2-539.

This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Cornus florida


sec. 1993

common name: flowering dogwood
family: Cornaceae
Identified 2002-04-05 by Steven J. Baskauf


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14622°, -86.80115°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location of individual determined from GIS database.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
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Image View
whole tree (or vine) - general
bark - of a medium tree or large branch
twig - winter overall
twig - close-up winter terminal bud
leaf - whole upper surface
leaf - showing orientation on twig
inflorescence - whole - unspecified
inflorescence - whole - unspecified
fruit - immature 1993 =

Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Flora of North America Association, New York, NY, US and Oxford, UK.

Metadata last modified: 2020-05-06T10:09:39.441-05:00
RDF formatted metadata for this organism