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Cornus amomum

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KOR-nus ah-MOH-mum
Description

Silky Dogwood is a deciduous tree that may grow 10 to 15 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and acutely veined with a smooth margin. The bark is smooth and red-purple in young trees. As the tree ages, the bark turns brown and develops shallow fissures. In late spring, small, white flowers mature in clusters. The small tree produces berries that develop in flat-topped clusters.

Tolerates close to full shade. Benefits from a 2-4” mulch which will help keep roots cool and moist in summer. Branches that touch the ground may root at the nodes. When left alone, this shrub may spread to form thickets.

Good shrub for moist to wet areas of the landscape. Not overly ornamental. Somewhat wild and unkempt for placement in prominent areas. Good selection for moist woodlands, naturalized areas, along steams/ponds or for erosion control.

The showy white spring flowers are followed by blue fruits that the birds will happily eat. 

Problems: Susceptible to scale. Other insect pests include borers and leaf miners. Infrequent disease problems include leaf spot, crown canker, blights, root rot and powdery mildew.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#deciduous#rain garden#acidic soil#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#nectar plant#riparian#host plant#wetlands#erosion control#host#showy fruits#hedges#wet sites#pond margins#specialized bees#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#nesting sites#food source summer#food source fall#wet soils tolerant#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#deciduous#rain garden#acidic soil#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#nectar plant#riparian#host plant#wetlands#erosion control#host#showy fruits#hedges#wet sites#pond margins#specialized bees#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#nesting sites#food source summer#food source fall#wet soils tolerant#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cornus
    Species:
    amomum
    Family:
    Cornaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    the bark was used by Native Americans as tobacco.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    New Foundland to Ontario south to Missouri, Mississippi and Florida
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is the host plant for the spring/summer Azure butterflies. Butterflies nectar at its blooms. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, quail, turkey, chipmunks, black bear, foxes, white-tailed deer, skunks, and squirrels. The foliage is browsed by white-tailed deer. Members of the genus Cornus support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Gonandrena) fragilis, Andrena (Gonandrena) integra, and Andrena (Gonandrena) platyparia.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    The round drupes change from white to blue as they ripen in late summer (August).
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny whitish-yellow flowers are borne in flat-topped cymes up to 2.5 inches across. Individual flowers are about 3/8 inch wide with 4 petals and four long stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-5 inch long green leaves are oval to elliptic, have conspicuous veins and hairs on the undersides.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Bark Description:
    The bark in young trees is red-purple and smooth.  As the tree/shrub ages, the bark turns brown and develops shallow fissures.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Reddish stems have brown pith and silky hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Near Septic
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Erosion
    Wet Soil