NATIVE RANGE: Eastern North America
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 2000
PATHWAYS: ornamental plant, seeds are secondary spread by birds
POSSIBLE TO FIND: year-round
FLOWERING SEASON: May-June
DESCRIPTION: A deciduous bush with numerous smooth-barked stems. The bark is shiny, dark red with many lenticels on young branches (rarely yellow or brown). Later, the bark turns light brown, and develops cracks and splits. Leaves are opposite, oval to lanceolate, green above and grey to greyish-green below. Flowers small, with four white petals, borne in flat-topped clusters, 5–8 cm across. Fruits are white or pale grey drupes, round, 7–9 mm in dia., each containing one seed.
HABITAT: Preference for nutrient-rich, moist soil in riparian forests, where it is tolerant of periodical flooding, ruderal sites. Also in meadows where it is grazed, but persists as a low-growing bush.
STATUS: Widespread throughout Europe. As a naturalized plant mainly found in Central Slovenia. Commonly grown in gardens, parks and urban green areas.
SIMILAR SPECIES: In common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) twigs are red or green but have no lenticels. The underside of leaves is green. They colour dark red in autumn. The fruit is a small dark blue or black drupe. Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) has year-round green twigs. Fruit is an elongated, bright red drupe.