silky dogwood

(Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

silky dogwood

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Moist. Woods, riverbanks, marshes, lake shores. Full or partial sun.

 
Flowering

Mid-June to late mid-July

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

6 to 13

     

Identification

This is a 6 to 13 tall, erect, perennial shrub that rises from a shallow, spreading, woody root system on multiple stems. It usually occurs singly but sometimes forms colonies.

The stems are erect to arching and are often forked near the ground.

First-year twigs are purple or reddish purple, densely covered with silky gray hairs, and have white pith. As they age they become hairless. Second-year branches have brown pith. Third-year branches are gray.

The bark on young stems is reddish-purple, on mature stems is gray and smooth, and on older stems is brown, rough, and shallowly fissured.

The leaves are opposite, deciduous, elliptic to narrowly egg-shaped, 19 16 to 3½ long, and ¾ to 19 16 wide. They are on 3 16 to long leaf stalks. They are relatively evenly spaced along the branches, not clustered near the tips. They are tapered at the base and tapered to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. On each side of the midrib there are usually 4 or 5, conspicuous veins that curve upward toward the tip of the leaf. The upper surface is dark green and sparsely to moderately covered with stiff, appressed hairs. The lower surface is paler green but otherwise similar. The margins are untoothed and may be slightly wavy.

The inflorescence is a dense, flat-topped to shallowly convex, branched, 1 to 2 in diameter cluster (cyme) of 35 to 175 or more flowers at the ends of branches.

The flowers have 4 minute sepals, 4 narrowly lance-shaped, white to cream-colored petals, 4 stamens with long filaments, and a well-developed style.

The fruits are berry-like, ¼ to in diameter, and borne on a reddish-brown stalk. It is green initially, turning to blue with pale or white blotches, ultimately becoming dark blue to bluish black. It matures in late July to mid-September.

 
Similar
Species

Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) leaves appear similar to those of the dogwoods, with 3 or 4 pairs of arching lateral veins, but the margins are toothed.

Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) leaf blades have 3 or 4 pairs of lateral veins. The inflorescence is round-topped to pyramid-shaped. It has white fruit.

Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is ultimately a tree and usually has a single stem It has alternate leaves clustered at the ends of branches. The leaf blades have 5 or 6 pairs of lateral veins.

Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea) stems and twigs become red in the winter. The leaf blades have usually 7 or 8, sometimes 6 or 9, pairs of lateral veins. It has white fruit.

Round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa) first-year branches are yellow to green with dark purple flecks or streaks. The leaves are almost round. The fruit is pale blue.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Cornaceae (dogwood)

 

Subfamily:

Cornoideae

 

Genus:

Cornus

 

Subgenus:

Swida (dogwoods)

 
Synonyms

Cornus obliqua

Cornus amomum var. schuetzeana

Cornus purpusii

 
Common
Names

blue-fruited dogwood

kinnikinnik

silky dogwood


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

pith

The spongy cells in the center of the stem.

 

sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       

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  Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)
Bill Keim
 
  Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)  

 

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  Margined leatherwing soldier beetles frolic merrily on silky dogwood
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 7, 2011

Soldier beetles tentatively identified as margined leatherwing, Chauliognathus marginatus (family Cantharidae), feed and mate upon a flower cluster of silky dogwood, Cornus amomum (Cornaceae) in Miami County, Ohio, USA on June 5, 2011.

 
     

 

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