Dogwoods have leaves arranged opposite one another on the stem—except for this species! This shrub or small tree is a popular ornamental, especially in the northern parts of Missouri, where it can be too cold to grow flowering dogwood.
Gray dogwood is a deciduous, thicket-forming shrub. Its small, creamy-white flowers occur in branched clusters, and its white or pale blue fruits are supported by red stalks—a characteristic that makes it attractive for ornamental uses.
American hornbeam is also called musclewood because of the sinewy appearance of its smooth gray bark. The name hornbeam refers to the genuine strength of its wood—it is one of the hardest and strongest woods in North America.
This small understory tree has beautiful fall color: deep lavender or maroon-purple, finally becoming deep rose-red, contrasting with clusters of blue-black berries, borne on red stalks, that happen to be quite tasty. No wonder it has been cultivated as an ornamental since 1727!
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.