En EspaŅol
Cornus obliqua (Silky dogwood) | NPIN

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
See a list of all Plants

Cornus obliqua

Cornus obliqua Raf.

Silky dogwood, Pale dogwood, Swamp dogwood, Kinnikinnik

Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Synonym(s): Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua, Cornus amomum var. schuetzeana, Cornus purpusii

USDA Symbol: COOB9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

This late-blooming dogwood is a wide, open, spreading shrub that grows 8-10 ft. tall. Clusters of small, creamy-white flowers are followed by clusters of blue berries. Twigs are grayish-green, becoming purplish-red.

The genus cornus is Latin for a horn.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Fruit: Black
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun


USA: AR , CT , DC , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SD , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: N.B. to VA, w. to MN, e. KS & LA
Native Habitat: Swamps; damp thickets; wet prairies

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not a specimen dogwood, but useful in poorly drained sites and for prevention of lake and stream bank erosion. Tolerates more alkaline soil.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings. Silky dogwood is one of the easiest dogwoods to root. Semi-hardwood cuttings benefit from hormone treatment; softwood cutting do not require treatment.
Seed Collection: Collect fruit when it has turned black.
Seed Treatment: Remove seed from fruit and stratify 90 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cornus obliqua in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cornus obliqua in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cornus obliqua


Record Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center