Image for Alternate-Leaved Dogwood

Alternate-Leaved Dogwood

Scientific name

Cornus alternifolia


The Alternate-Leaved Dogwood is a tall, deciduous shrub or small tree species that can grow 5-10 m in height. This plant may also be known by the common name Pagoda Dogwood. It can be grown either in the form of a single stem tree or multi-stemmed shrub comprised of two or three smaller trunks. The leaves are ovate shaped, alternately arranged, have prominent veins, have a pointed tip, and have entire margins. The flowers are showy, fragrant, whitish yellow, appear in flat clusters, and bloom between May and June. These flowers produce clusters of dark blue berries. The flowers are beneficial for pollinator species while the berries are beneficial for wildlife species. The root system is valuable for controlling erosion and stabilizing loose soil. This plant is often used as a small ornamental tree in landscaping. The common name comes from the fact that all other Dogwood species have oppositely arranged leaves.

Planting conditions

Alternate-Leaved Dogwood grows best in moist conditions with partial sun exposure. It can tolerate full sun if given enough moisture. It prefers well-drained, acidic, constantly moist, organically rich loam or humus soil types. Adding a thick layer of mulch around the roots may benefit individual plants. This shrub can be naturally found in moist forest and along river or lake shorelines.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 5-10 m
  • Spread:
    • 3 m