Pagoda Dogwood, Green Osier

Cornus alternifolia

Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus (KOR-nus) (Info)
Species: alternifolia (al-tern-ee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By grafting

By budding

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Suwanee, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Grayslake, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Valparaiso, Indiana

Clermont, Kentucky

Frankfort, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Paris, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

Coushatta, Louisiana

Kansas City, Missouri

Great Falls, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Dundee, Ohio

Grove City, Ohio

Mantua, Ohio

Salem, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Rumford, Rhode Island

Hood, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Ridgefield, Washington

Cambridge, Wisconsin

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 8, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This tree's strongest ornamental feature is its layered horizontal branching pattern, which accounts for the common name "pagoda dogwood".

Unfortunately, as has been known for over a century, this species is highly susceptible to Cryptodiaporthe canker. Trees routinely succumb to the disease before attaining a trunk diameter of 4".


On Jan 9, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a high quality, neat, clean shrubby tree with handsome foliage, good red fall color, purplish smooth twigs, plus branches, in a wishbone and roller coaster formation, nice white fuzzy flower clusters in May, and bears black fruit relished by birds. I see it growing wild in some spots in the forest of southeastern PA. Sold by most regular nurseries and native plant nurseries. Needs room to branch out in a wide way, like about 20 ft or more. Makes a fantastic specimen by itself. grows about 1 ft/yr and lives 100 to 150 yrs in nature. Should be used more.


On Apr 8, 2012, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Beautiful tree with such delicate-looking, arching branches. Native in my state of Indiana. This tree grows for me in what is almost full shade.

Pagoda Dogwood is also know as Green Osier and Alternate-Leaved Dogwood. A must have in any wildlife garden. Squirrels love to feed on its fruits and at least 11 species of birds including ruffed grouse eat it. The leaves and stems are eaten by white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and beavers.


On Jan 24, 2010, VA_GARDEN from Hood, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

These little trees starting popping up in our wooded property after most of the Cornus florida were wiped out by anthracnose. The flowers are dainty and quite pretty, although not as showy as the flowering dogwood were. The blue berries are also lovely, at least until the birds find them. These trees are quite forgiving, very easy to transplant when small, and seem to thrive on neglect.


On Jan 30, 2006, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

Native here in the Wabash Valley, this very large shrub responds well to serious pruning. Wild clumps lose tops regularly to flooding and brush cutting. The new shoots often rise up as much as 4' in the first year and display the multi-storied "pagoda" form handsomely 3-5 years on. These tops are short-lived, but, as with Redbuds, the roots can send up substantial new stems when the tops die or are pushed over or cut back.


On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very nice form to this Native Dogwood, which is what a botanist in Ohio here told me this was after searching forever trying to identify it, lovely clusters of white flowers in late spring, as they ripen they turn from a white berry to a gorgeous "metallic" looking blue berry. If you intend to collect seeds, here we have to bag the seedhead to get to them before the birds!!! They love wet feet!!!!! they actually flourish near my swamp.

UPDATE 4/2006, after the flood last year it was broken off to about a foot tall (Feb 2005) it's now coming back and those branches that had broken and were laying in soil have taken root, it's easily started from cuttings or just portions that lay in the soil, so could be invasive in a smaller garden setting, I however still love it and am del... read more


On Jan 3, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This tree suffers considerable die-back in dry conditions, but more than makes up for that in its ability to produce healthy new branches that grow rapidly. A very beautiful tree.