Cornus is a genus of about 30–60 species of woody plants in the family Cornaceae, commonly known as dogwoods. Most are deciduous trees or shrubs, but a few species are nearly herbaceous perennial subshrubs, and a few of the woody species are evergreen. Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large, typically white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers. The various species of dogwood are native throughout much of temperate and boreal Eurasia and North America, with China and Japan and the southeastern United States particularly rich in native species.
Species include the common dogwood Cornus sanguinea of Eurasia, the widely cultivated flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America, the Pacific dogwood Cornus nuttallii of western North America, the Kousa dogwood Cornus kousa of eastern Asia, and two low-growing boreal species, the Canadian and Eurasian dwarf cornels (or bunchberries), Cornus canadensis and Cornus suecica respectively.
Dogwoods are widely planted horticulturally, and the dense wood of the larger-stemmed species is valued for certain specialized purposes. Cutting Boards and other fine turnings can be made from this fine grained and beautiful wood. The red seeds are used by over 32 different varieties of game birds to feed upon, including quail.
Cornus florida has been proven to prevent the spread of malaria. Their bark is rich in tannin and has been used as a substitute for quinine.During the civil war confederate soldiers would make a tea from the bark to treat pain and fevers, and dogwood leaves in a poultice to cover wounds.
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