June 26, 2011
Arrowwood Viburnum, Viburnum recognitum (left)
and Silky Dogwood, Cornus amomum (right)
Although the flower clusters of some viburnums and dogwoods superficially
look alike, it is easy to distinguish between the two genera by looking
at the petals. Viburnum flowers have 5 petals, those of dogwoods have
When the shrubs are not in flower, identification is more difficult.
Both shrubs have opposite leaf placement and simple leaves. One ID clue
is that dogwood leaves never have teeth, while some viburnums do - such
as the one pictured here. Also, if you carefully tear a dogwood leaf
perpendicular to the stem, the two pieces will remain attached by tiny
threads. Viburnum leaves simply tear apart.