Species list


Cornus sanguinea

Common dogwood

Common dogwood (Eng), cornejo, sanguino (Spa), cornell, sanguinyol (Cat), zuhandor arrunt, zuhandorra (Baq), sangomiño, sambuguiño (Glg), sanguinho-legítimo (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? Ötzi, the 'ice man' who was killed 5300 years ago and found in a glacier in the Ötzal Alps, was carrying a long stick made of yew and dogwood arrows.


The dogwood is a large shrub that sometimes becomes a tree of more than 5 m in height. The leaves are deciduous, simple, opposite and either oval or elliptical. The margin is entire and finishes in a point, where the nerves can also be seen very well. While the upper side is smooth, the underside is a little rough because of the hairs on it. The leaves measure up to 9 cm long and 6 cm wide, and have a long stalk. The green shade of spring and summer turns wine red towards the autumn, hence its specific name sanguinea, referring to blood. It flowers at the end of spring or in the summer. The showy blossoms are white or cream, and appear in large groups at the ends of the twigs. The pea-sized fruits are bluish-black, globose, fleshy, shiny, and ripen in autumn. They look appealing, but should not be eaten because they are toxic.


This accompanying species appears within evergreen or deciduous forests, hedgerows, thorny fringes, thickets and clearings. It needs somewhat shady, humid environments, and for this reason in the south it takes refuge in cool, shaded ravines, and along streams and creek beds protected from direct sunlight. The dogwood grows on both calcareous and siliceous soils, regardless of the quality, as long as they are cool and light, and is found from sea level up to approximately 1300 m.


The dogwood ranges across all of Europe and southwestern Asia. On the Iberian Peninsula it is distributed throughout the northern areas, the Iberian and Sierra de Gata ranges, and is scattered across the Baetic mountains. It is not found in the southeast or much of Galicia.