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FutureStarrA Swamp Dogwood
Stiff Dogwood is a deciduous flowering shrub or small tree with attractive red twigs, clusters of showy white flowers in the spring, and pale blue to blue-violet fruits in the fall. The tree or shrub may grow from 10 to 25 feet tall. Swamp dogwood opens a window into the heart of Louisiana's marshland and one of Louisiana's most distinctive experiences- the cypress swamp. In the Southeastern United States, cypress swamps occur at the very base of broad-leaved oaks and other hardwood trees, with the space between the water level and the overground canopy typically confined to a width of about 6 to 10 meters.
Faunal Associations: The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract many insects. These floral visitors include honeybees, bumblebees, Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), Halictid bees (Halictus spp., Lasioglossum spp., etc.), various wasps, Syrphid flies, Tachinid flies, flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), blow flies (Calliphoridae), various butterflies, skippers, and other insects. Swamp Dogwood and other dogwood shrubs (Cornus spp.) are host plants of many insects that feed on their leaves, bore through their wood, suck on their plant juices, etc. The caterpillars of Celastrina argiolus (Spring/Summer Azure) feed on the flowers and buds of dogwood shrubs.
Moth caterpillars that feed on these shrubs include Synanthedon scitula (Dogwood Borer), Bomolocha bijugalis (Dimorphic Bomolocha), Probole nyssaria (Dogwood Probole), Antispila cornifoliella (Heliozelid Moth sp.), and Caloptilia belfragella (Gracillariid Moth sp.); the caterpillars of the last two moths are leaf-miners. Other insect feeders include aphids (Aphis caliginosa, Aphis cornifoliae), leafhoppers (Erythroneura corni, Erythroneura ontari, Erythroneura rubrella), Clastoptera proteus (Dogwood Spittlebug), plant bugs (Plagiognathus cornicola, Lygocoris communis), Calligrapha philadelphica (Dogwood Leaf Beetle) and other leaf beetles, the larvae of Oberea tripunctata (Dogwood Twig Borer) and other long-horned beetles, the thrips Scirtothrips niveus, and the larvae of Macremphytus testaceus (Dogwood Sawfly). See the Insect Table for a more complete listing of these species. (Source:www.illinoiswildflowers.info)