Cornus. N. F. IV. Dogwood Bark. Ecorce de Cornouiller a grandes fleurs, Fr. Grossblüthige Cornelrinde, G.—This drug, which was at one time official in the U. S. P., is described by the N. F. as "the dried bark of the root of Cornus florida Linne (Fam. Cornaceae). In irregular, chip-like pieces, or portions of quills, usually less than 5 cm. in length and from 1 to 4 mm. in thickness; externally of a dingy-brown color, lightly fissured and thinly scaly, or reddish where the corky layer has been removed; inner surface varying from pinkish-brown to red-purple, usually harsh to the touch from numerous short striae; fracture short, the surface whitish with yellow striae, except the inner layer, which is light purple. Odor slight; taste bitter and astringent. Cornus yields not more than 10 per cent. of ash," N. F.
The barks of two other indigenous dogwoods are sometimes substituted for that of C. florida L. Each of these is a shrub with opposite leaves, the flowers in flat spreading cymes, and the fruit globular and bright red. C. circinata L'Her. is further distinguished by its branches being greenish and warty; its leaves round-oval, abruptly pointed, and woolly underneath. C. Amomum Mill. (C. sericea L.., Silky cornel or Swamp Dogwood, is to be recognized by its purplish branches, and by the fact that the branchlets, stalks, and lower surface of the elliptical pointed leaves are silky and downy. (See also Chem. News, 1908, 191.)
These dogwoods are found in all portions of the United States east of the Mississippi.
Dogwood bark was used many years ago as an antiperiodic in intermittent fever, but it is only a feeble, astringent tonic. Formerly from one to two ounces of the powder were given in the interval between the paroxysms of intermittent fever. The N. F. IV also recognizes its fluidextract. The dose of this fluidextract is from half a fluidrachm to a fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils).