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Creek Dogwood
Cornus sericea
About Creek Dogwood (Cornus sericea) Nurseries Show All Photos The Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea, syn. C. stolonifera, Swida sericea) is a species of dogwood native throughout northern and western North America from Alaska east to Newfoundland, south to Durango and Nuevo Len in the west, and Illinois and Virginia in the east. Other names include Redtwig Dogwood, Red-rood, American Dogwood, and (subsp. occidentalis) Western Dogwood. In the wild, it commonly grows in areas of damp soil, such as wetlands. It is a medium to tall deciduous shrub, growing 1.5-4 meter tall and 3-5 meter wide, spreading readily by underground stolons to form dense thickets. The branches and twigs are dark red, although wild plants may lack this coloration in shaded areas. The leaves are opposite, 5-12 centimeter long and 2.5-6 centimeter broad, with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin; they are dark green above and waxy pale below; fall color is commonly bright red to purple. The flowers are small (5-10 millimeter diameter), dull white in color, in clusters 3-6 centimeter diameter. The fruit is a globose white berry 5-9 millimeter diameter.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Tree

Max. Height
4 - 13.1 ft (1.2 - 4 m)

Max. Width
9 - 15 ft (2.7 - 4.6 m)



Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

The leaves are opposite, 5-12 centimeter long and 2.5-6 centimeter broad, with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin; they are dark green above. and waxy pale below; fall color is commonly bright red to purple.

Flower Color
White, Purple, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places

Full Shade, Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-12' - 10807'

Annual Precip. ?
7.3" - 155.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 5.84"

Coldest Month ?
23.3° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
46.5° F - 79.3° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 28.16 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils but does best in moist, rich loamy soil

Soil PH
5 - 7

Medium, Slow, Standing

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0 - 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Companion Plants
Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Max. Summer Water ?
1/week, Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Bogs and Ponds, Hedges, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Cornus sericea ssp. sericea,Cornus stolonifera

Common Names
Redosier Dogwood

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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