Skip navigation

Weed Identification

stiff dogwood



Scientific Name

Cornus foemina

Other Common Names:

swamp dogwood

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Swida stricta
Swida foemina
Cornus stricta


The plant s leaves are opposite and oval-shaped, with smooth margins.

Identifying Characteristics

Cornus foemina P. Mill., swamp dogwood, is primarily found along the coastal plain from eastern Virginia to central Florida, west to Louisiana and north to southeastern Missouri. It is a deciduous small tree to large shrub, growing to 15 ft in height, with multiple trunks, 4 inches in diameter. Its bark is thick and smooth, frequently furrowed with shallow ridges exposing gray inner bark

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are creamy white, loose, and small; they occur in flat topped clusters without showy bracts

Seed Fruit

Fruits are small, open clusters of bluish to purple drupes (fleshy, one-seeded fruits).

Where Found

Swamp dogwood generally grows in swampy, low wetland habitats, barrier islands, and along streams, riverbanks, marshes and creeks. It is found growing along ditches on the second road back from the ocean at Emerald Isle and found to exhibit moderate salt tolerance. Swamp dogwood is distributed throughout most of the southeast United States.

Life Cycle


Plant Type