Alternate-Leaved Dogwood (Pagoda Dogwood)
A shrub or small tree with branches often in tierlike layers.
Leaves simple, mostly alternate, often crowded near the end of twig, 2–5 inches long, egg-shaped or widest in the middle, edges smooth, tip pointed; upper surface smooth, dark green; lower surface paler, hairy, with lateral veins 4–6 on each side, conspicuous; leaf stalk ¾–2¼ inches long.
Bark thin, dark reddish-brown, smooth or grooved and broken into irregular narrow ridges.
Twigs often horizontal or ascending, slender, smooth, green.
Flowers May–June, white to cream-colored, flower cluster broad or flat-topped, 1¼–2½ inches wide, sepals minute or absent, petals 4, about 1/8 inch long.
Fruits July–September, borne on a red stalk, round, fleshy, 1-seeded, bluish-black, about 1/3 inch long.
Similar species: When not in flower, this species could be confused with flowering dogwood, but that species has opposite (not alternate) leaves.