Most species in this area are in the Apocynum genus. The plants are upright and branched and have a milky juice. The small, nodding, bell shaped, white or pink, radially symmetrical flowers have 5 united sepals and 5 united petals. The opposite leaves are simple and smooth edged. The slender seedpods are often joined at the tip and contain numerous milkweed-like tufted seeds.


Dogwoods are mostly shrubs and small trees. The leaves may be opposite, alternate or whorled and usually are smooth edged. The true flowers are usually small and inconspicuous and are 4- or 5-part. The tiny flowers are often surrounded by 4 showy, white, petal-like bracts. The fruit is usually berry-like.