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Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (Redosier dogwood)
Reveal, James L.

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea

Cornus sericea L. ssp. sericea

Redosier Dogwood, Red Osier Dogwood

Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Synonym(s): Cornus alba, Cornus alba ssp. stolonifera, Cornus alba var. baileyi, Cornus alba var. interior, Cornus alba var. sibirica, Cornus baileyi, Cornus instolonea, Cornus interior, Cornus sericea ssp. stolonifera, Cornus sericea var. interior, Cornus stolonifera, Cornus stolonifera var. baileyi, Cornus stolonifera var. coloradensis, Cornus stolonifera var. interior, Cornus stolonifera var. stolonifera, Swida instolonea, Swida sericea, Swida stolonifera

USDA Symbol: coses

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

Large, spreading, thicket-forming shrub with several stems, clusters of small white flowers, and small whitish fruit; rarely a small tree. Height commonly 3-10 feet (0.9-3 m), rarely to 15 feet (4.6 m). Diameter: 3" (7.5 cm).Leaves are opposite.

Red Osier Dogwood is useful for erosion control on stream banks. The common name recalls the resemblance of the reddish twigs to those of some willows called osiers, used in basketry. Branch tips of this tree will root upon touching the ground.

The genus cornus is Latin for a horn.


From the Image Gallery

14 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Central Alaska east to Labrador and Newfoundland, south to N. Virginia, and west to California; also N. Mexico; to 5000' (1524 m); to 9000' (2743 m) in the Southwest.
Native Habitat: Moist soils, especially along streams; forming thickets and in understory of forests.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Conditions Comments: Red branches attractive.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure butterfly.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Spring Azure
(Celastrina ladon)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.1 - Native Plants Facts, Winter Botany, Poster for Schoolchildren, Inside Herbaria

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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