Red osier dogwood
The Rocky Mountain states, all states to the west, and the northern Great Plains
Streambanks, fens, wet meadows, swamps, from sea level to 8,000 feet
Opposite, ovate to elliptic, up to 7 inches long and 4.5 inches wide, on stalks of up to 1.5 inches
Cornus sericea is a freely-branching shrub, up to 13 feet tall and wide, with many branches that tend to arch downwards, and can take root if they touch the ground. Plants can form dense clusters, spreading via underground stolons. Younger branches are green to red, and sparsely hairy, becoming glabrous when older. The red coloration may be lacking for plants in shady places. Leaves are relatively large, arranged in closely-spaced opposite pairs. Upper leaf surfaces are glabrous, while lower surfaces have a covering of short, appressed hairs. Between five and seven secondary veins radiate from each side of the midvein, their bases non-intersecting.
Flowers are produced in a flat-topped cluster, and are formed of four green sepals, four white petals (less than 0.2 inches long), four spreading stamens positioned in between the petals, and a single style.