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Cornus amomum Cornus amomum

Common Name(s):

  • Silky Dogwood
Phonetic Spelling
KOR-nus ah-MOH-mum
Description

Cornus amomum, commonly called silky dogwood, is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that is typically found in moist lowland areas, swamp borders, floodplains, shrub wetlands, and along streams and ponds in Eastern North America (New Foundland to Ontario south to Missouri, Mississippi and Florida). Twigs and leaf undersides have silky hairs, hence the common name. This dogwood typically grows to 6-12’ tall with an open-rounded form.

The bark in young trees is red-purple and smooth.  As the tree/shrub ages, the bark turns brown and develops shallow fissures.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for horn (reference to hard wood). This shrub is also commonly called swamp dogwood in reference to habitat and kinnkinnik (tobacco) in reference to a prior use of shrub bark by Native Americans as tobacco.

Regions:  Mountain. Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Spring, summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer, fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  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) fragilisAndrena (Gonandrena) integraand Andrena (Gonandrena) platyparia.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  The Silky Dogwood plant is susceptible to scale. Additional insect pests include borers and leaf miner. Infrequent disease problems include leaf spot, crown canker, blights, root rot and powdery mildew.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#birds#pollinators#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#riparian#hedge#wetlands#host#wet sites#specialized bees#nesting#cpp
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#birds#pollinators#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#riparian#hedge#wetlands#host#wet sites#specialized bees#nesting#cpp
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cornus
    Species:
    amomum
    Family:
    Cornaceae
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    White
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil