Swedish dogwood

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Swedish dogwood
Swedish dogwood (Cornus suecica)

Swedish dogwood ( Cornus suecica )

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Order : Dogwood-like (Cornales)
Family : Dogwood family (Cornaceae)
Genre : Dogwood ( Cornus )
Type : Swedish dogwood
Scientific name
Cornus suecica

The Swedish dogwood ( Cornus suecica ) is a species of the dogwood ( Cornus ) genus . It has a circumpolar distribution area; some occurrences extend south to Schleswig-Holstein and the Netherlands .


The Swedish dogwood is a perennial herbaceous plant . The shoots formed annually, depending on the location, arise from a branched rhizome around the beginning of June and reach a stature height of around 10 to 30 centimeters. The rhizome is covered with scaly leaves, each of which contains a bud and from which the roots arise. The roots enter into a symbiosis with certain fungi ( mycorrhiza ).

The opposite leaves are oval and pointed. The pairs of leaves are distributed fairly evenly on the stems, in contrast to the Canadian dogwood , in which they are heaped at the stem ends. The stalks are mostly unbranched, but less often branches form on the last pair of leaves. The stems end with an inflorescence or remain purely vegetative.

Illustration from Lindman's "Bilder ur Nordens Flora"

The inflorescence contains about eight to 25 flowers . The inflorescence is surrounded by four white bracts . There are four dark purple bracts . The flowers contain a nectar-secreting disc and are pollinated by insects, or neighboring flowers of an inflorescence pollinate. When Canadian dogwood, a mechanism has been described to the ejection of the pollen that will similarly also happen at the Swedish Dogwood: On a Blütenhüllblatt is a sensitive bristle that can pop the still closed flower in contact and the dust bag spun by a hinge upwards. The flowering time is in July and August.

The round, red berries ripen in September. They are non-toxic, but bland and floury. They are eaten by animals, which ensure the spread. The seed germinates the following spring.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 22.


The Swedish dogwood is widespread in the arctic and sub-arctic zones. However, it is absent in continental North America, where the similar Canadian dogwood occurs, and in continental Siberia. There are two disjoint distribution areas on the Atlantic and Pacific: one from eastern North America via Labrador , Newfoundland , Greenland and Iceland to northern Europe and north-western Russia ; on the other hand from Alaska over the Aleutian Islands to Kamchatka .

The occurrences in Central Europe are on the southern limit of distribution; the Swedish dogwood is rare here and is legally protected in Germany ( Federal Species Protection Ordinance ). It is on the Red List of Endangered Species (Category 1) and is threatened with extinction in Germany.

The Swedish dogwood grows on acidic substrates and needs a good water supply. It is often associated with various types of Vaccinium and inhabits moors, heather and sparse birch and pine forests. It thrives above all in societies of the Vaccinio-Piceetea class and also in those of the Vaccinio-Genitannalia order.


In his novella Waldwinkel, Theodor Storm wrote a poem entitled "Cornus suecica":

I was looking for another flower -
I could never find her;
Only where two are together
It emerges from the reasons.


Individual evidence

  1. T. Mosquin: The explosive pollination mechanism in the pop flower Chamaepericlymenum Cornaceae . In: Canadian Field-Naturalist . tape 99 , no. 1 , p. 1-5 .
  2. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . With the collaboration of Angelika Schwabe and Theo Müller. 8th, heavily revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 , pp.  725 .
  3. ^ Theodor Storm: Waldwinkel . ( gutenberg.org - text by Projekt Gutenberg).

Web links

Wiktionary: Swedish dogwood  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Swedish Dogwood ( Cornus suecica )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files