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Cornus sericea (stolonifera) L.
from cornus, horn, in
reference to the hardness of the wood
sericea = silky;
Homeopathic preparation: Tincture of bark. (Bradford’s Index).
The fresh bark, including that of the root, is treated like that of the first - mentioned species; the resulting tincture has a beautiful madder color by transmitted light, an odor greatly like that of sugar - cane when the juices are slightly soured, an extremely astringent and bitterish taste, and an acid reaction. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).
N.O. Subclass: Rosidae; Order: Cornales; Family: Cornaceae or Dogwood Family
Provings: Allen: Cyclopoedia, V. 10.
Walker (J. M.): Inaugur. Dissertation, Phila., 1803. (Bradford’s Index.
Description of the substance
Botanical Information: This water - loving shrub grows to a height of from 6 to 12 feet. Branches spreading, dark - purplish (not brilliant red); branchlets silky - downy. Leaves narrowly ovate or elliptical, pointed, smooth above, silky - downy below and often rusty - hairy upon the ribs. Inflorescence a flat, close, woolly - pubescent, long - peduncled cyme; flowers creamy - white. Calyx teeth lanceolate, conspicuous. Petals lanceolate - oblong, obtuse. Stigma thick, capitate. Fruit pale blue, globose. Read description of Cornaceae, p. 71.
It flowers northward in June, and ripens its azure fruit in September.
The use of this species in general medicine has mostly been as a substitute for C . florida , than which it is less bitter, while being more astringent. The Cree Indians Of Hudson's Bay call the plant Milawapamule , and the bark in decoction as an emetic in coughs and fevers. They also smoke the scripings of the wood, and make a black dye from the bark by boiling it with iron rust (E. M. Holmes in Am . Jour . Phar ., 1884, 617.) A favorite tobacco mixture of the North American Indians, called Kinnikinnik is composed of scrapings of the wood of this species, mixed with tobacco in the proportion of about one to four. A good scarlet dye is made by boiling the rootlets with water. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).
Habitat: The Swamp Dogwood is indigenous to North America, from Florida to Mississippi and thence northward, where it grows in wet place generally in company with Cephalanthus and Viburnum dentatum. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).
Leaf: Opposite, simple, arcuately veined, 2 to 4 inches long, somewhat narrow, entire margin, green above, pale below.
Flower: Monoecious; small, dull white in flat top clusters about 2 inches across appearing in late early summer.
Fruit: Dull white, 1/4 to 1/3 inch in diameter in rounded clusters. Maturing in late summer to fall.
Twig: Bright red, sometimes green splotched with red, white pith, buds narrow and tapering, flower buds more swollen.
Bark: Red to green with numerous lenticels; later developing larger cracks and splits and turning light brown.
Form: Small to medium sized shrub with numerous stems forming thickets up to 15 feet tall but generally shorter.