Rough-leaved dogwood is a native large shrub or small tree, often mistaken for gray dogwood. Named for the rough textured leaves, it has fleshy white fruit, dark green foliage that turns burgundy red fall color. Best used for naturalizing in moist areas. May be difficult to find in nurseries.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- North America
- Shade tree
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Wet sites,
- Occasional flooding
Seasons of Interest:
- late spring,
- late summer,
- early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
Full sun to part shade in well-drained to moist soil. Tolerant of most soil types from wet to dry.
Plant tends to sucker and form colonies.
Disease, pests, and problems
Stem cankers, leaf spots, powdery mildew, aphids
Native geographic location and habitat
Found along wood edge borders, roadsides, stream banks in Great Plains, Midwest and along the Mississippi River.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Flowers attract many pollinators and fruits attract birds.
Bark color and texture
First year twigs are reddish brown, eventually turning gray. Pith color is white or tan, darkening with age of stem.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Upper surface is dark green with small hairs, giving it a rough touch. Underside is lighter and has small hairs.
Margins are wavy. Fall color is a dark burgundy red.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Flowers are 2-inch wide clusters of creamy white flowers at ends on branches. They appear in early-to-mid June.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fleshy, 1/4 inch diameter, white fruit with bright orange-red pedicel.