Bothrocaryum controversum (Hemsley) Pojarkova; Cornus brachypoda Miquel (1865), not C. A. Meyer (1845); C. controversa var. angustifolia Wangerin; C. obovata Thunberg; C. sanguinea Thunberg (1784), not Linnaeus (1753); Swida controversa (Hemsley) Soják.
Trees 3–13(–20) m tall. Bark dark gray or yellowish gray, smooth; branches ± horizontal; branches of current year purplish, later greenish, glabrous or pubescent; older branches greenish, with conspicuous semicircular leaf scars and rounded lenticels; winter buds purplish, ovoid or conical, 3–8 mm, glabrous, with several alternate overlapping scales. Leaf blade broadly ovate or broadly elliptic-ovate, 5–13 × 3–9 cm, abaxially light or grayish green, sparsely pubescent with appressed trichomes, papillate, veins 6 or 7(–9), abaxially raised and slightly purplish, base subrounded, apex acute or acuminate. Corymbose cymes terminal, 5–14 cm in diam., pubescent with appressed trichomes. Flowers 8–9 mm in diam.; buds nearly orbicular, shortly pedicellate. Calyx teeth ca. 0.5 mm, taller than disk. Petals oblong-lanceolate, 3–4.5 × 1–1.6 mm. Stamens longer than petals; filaments whitish, 4–5 mm. Style 2–3 mm, glabrous. Fruit purplish red or bluish black, globose, 6–7 mm in diam.; stones globose, 5–6 mm in diam., inconspicuously 8-ribbed. Fl. May–Jun, fr. Jul–Sep. 2n = 20.
Broad-leaved or mixed broad-leaved and coniferous forests; 200–2600 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shan-
dong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, N India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, ?Sikkim].
An oil used in the lubricating and soap industry is extracted from the fruit. The large, conspicuous, white inflorescences, layered branching pattern, and pagodalike shape of the tree make it a good garden ornamental. The leaves are used in folk remedies to relieve pain and to reduce swelling.
The synonym Cornus obovata Thunberg is an invalid name.