Dogwoods in Iowa

There are six species of dogwood found in Iowa: pagoda, rough-leaf, red-osier, gray, round-leaf, and silky. The dogwoods are used for ornamental plantings in the state, and they make a good shrub row in windbreak plantings.  The flowering dogwood, the most popular of the dogwoods, is not found in Iowa, but grows in the eastern United States and west to Illinois.

Dogwoods are rich in tannic acids, and the roots, bark, leaves and unripe fruit were used in early days for medicinal purposes such as tonics and astringents.

Leaves are opposite simple, except for pagoda dogwood, which has alternate leaves. Leaves can be 3 to 6 inches long. The veins run parallel to the leaf margin. The mid-vein contains fine strands when pulled apart.

Hardiness: Zones 5 through 8

Growth Rate: Moderate

Mature Shape: Layered, spreading crown, valued as an ornamental tree

Height: 15-30 feet

Width: 15-20 feet

Site Requirements: Moist well-drained soil, acidic soil in partial sun to thrive

Flowering Dates: April - May

Seed Dispersal Dates: October - November 

Seed Bearing Age: Varies

Seed Bearing Frequency: Yearly 

Stratification Requirements: 105 days cold stratification