Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Swamp Dogwood Continued

Yesterday afternoon I returned to the Swamp Dogwood site. It turns out that there are five bushes, one as high as twelve feet. They all had some berries, some even already dried. (Are they this year's or last?) I collected a bunch of berries so if anyone wants seeds, just let me know.

The Shrub Identification Book by George W.D. Symonds states that brown pith separates Swamp from Red-Osier Dogwood and I think just helps cement this ID. I have found some web documentation that ties brown pith to a different dogwood species but I will stick with my ID book here.

The leaves do take on slightly different shapes.

The Shrub Identification Book also illustrated the flowering, saying that a flat topped cluster of flowers, as opposed to conical, indicates a few species that include Swamp Dogwood. Also noteworthy, all Dogwood flowers have four petals.

So that's it! Lots of bits and pieces that come together to strongly indicate Swamp Dogwood. As I mentioned, there is conflicting species identification properties and as well even some possible naming changes over the years. Regardless, I will stick with this ID for now, but that may change once this book comes in. More to come! :-)


  1. I bet your library is bursting at the seams! Joyce

  2. I'm afraid I may never be able to positively ID my berries; not having access to the bush I photo'd a few years back, I cannot say what kind of flowers and/or pith it had. I'll be curious to see if your ID still holds after you get your book! I'll bet it does!
    I'm away for the rest of this week- I'll be checking back in with Nuncketest on Monday,

  3. Well Joyce, it is spilling out all over the place! :-) My bookcases were pretty well filled before Nuncketest came along. I must soon get organized--sometimes it simply takes too long just finding the right manual in all those piles.

  4. Ya, I feel pretty good about the ID, Gretchen, but I do suspect a name change. This morning I checked The Shrub Identification Book copyright--1963. Jeez, I used to think those times were not long ago! :-)

    By the time you return, I should have this all nailed down. Be safe and come back soon!

    Take care,

    -- John