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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Cornus foemina (Stiff dogwood)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Cornus foemina

Cornus foemina Mill.

Stiff Dogwood, Swamp Dogwood

Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Synonym(s): Cornus stricta, Swida foemina, Swida stricta

USDA Symbol: cofo

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A highly variable shrub or small tree to 25 ft. tall. Twigs are reddish, becoming gray with age. Small, white flowers make up the convex to flat-topped flower clusters. Fruits are bright blue.

The genus cornus is Latin for a horn.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 25 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: DE to IL, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Swamps & uplands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet or moist soils, adapting to drier sites.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Summer Azure Butterfly, Celastrina neglecta has been observed ovipositing on this species in Delaware.


Description: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Seeds can be stored or sown without extracting them from the fruit.
Seed Treatment: Fruit may be sown immediately or stratified for spring planting.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Wellspring Organic Farm and Education Center - West Bend, WI

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Research Literature

Reslit 1024 - The increasing scarcity of red oaks in Mississippi River floodplain forests: Influence of the residual overstory (2005) C. D. Oliver, E. C. Burkhardt and D. A. Skojac

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cornus foemina in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cornus foemina in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cornus foemina


Record Modified: 2022-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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