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
This late-blooming dogwood is a wide, open, spreading shrub that usually 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.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall, often shorter.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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
Native Distribution: N.B. to VA, w. to MN, e. KS & LA
Native Habitat: Swamps; damp thickets; wet prairies
Growing ConditionsLight 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 InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: 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
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Cornus obliqua in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cornus obliqua in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cornus obliqua
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff