Cornus capitata
evergreen dogwood

Cornaceae (dogwood family)

A small evergreen tree, leaves a paler green underneath, with prominent ribs. The extraordinary red fruit body is composed of 30 or 40 pink, fused, roughly six-sided fruits each with a stubby, central-style remnant. It is interesting to watch the different stages of development of the fruit, which is eaten in India, starting from a tiny granulated green knob subtended by four bracts whose shadows can be seen long after the bracts fall. The wood was familiar in Greek times for use in javelins, as reported in the Aeneid. See behind Inner Quad Building 40, and one next to a lamp at the northwest corner of Lagunita Court facing Santa Teresa Street (near Spiraea nipponica).

Cultivar ‘Mountain Moon’ can be appreciated just behind the low wall at 2297 Harvard Street and to the left of the entry walkway at 267 Walter Hays Drive in Palo Alto.

Name derivation: Cornus – Latin for horn, from the toughness of the wood; capitata – head-like, aggregated into a dense cluster.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Sairus Patel added the ‘Mountain Moon’ locations.