Alternateleaf dogwood

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Swida alternifolia (L. f.) Small; old Cornus alternifolia L. f.

Common name(s): alternateleaf dogwood, alternate-leaf dogwood, alternate-leaved dogwood, pagoda dogwood, green osier

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


-deciduous shrub

-horizontal branching

-leaves are

  • alternate
  • simple
  • Leaf blade length is50–100 mm
    Leaf blade width is 25–50 mm

-fruit is fleshy

  • reddish-green fruits mature to black drupes

-reproduces vegetatively by layering and suckering and can be propagated by cuttings.

-differentiated because its small flowers are distinct and do not cluster together to form a showy “pseudo flower”







Go Botany. “Swida Alternifolia (L. f.) Small.” Swida Alternifolia (Alternate-Leaved Dogwood, Pagoda Dogwood): Go Botany, 2021,