Family: Cornaceae, dogwood family
Genus, species: Cornus florida
Leaves are egg-shaped with smooth edges. All leaf veins are parallel to leaf edges.
Bark is gray or light brown, broken into small blocks, looks like alligator skin.
Flowers are small and inconspicuous. The showy white "petals" are bracts (expanded bud scales) and are not technically part of the flower. Some cultivated varieties have pink bracts.
Fruits are clusters of green berries, ripen to bright red in autumn.
Twigs are slender, gray.
The genus name, Cornus, is from the Latin for "horn-like" or "horny." The species name, florida, is not for the state of Florida, but is from the Latin for "flowery" or "florid."