Silky dogwood is a large to medium-sized native shrub with creamy white spring flowers , dark green foliage, and reddish stems and burgundy fall color. A great 4-season plant for naturalizing, in mass, and in the shrub border, especially in moist sites.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Mixed border,
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Sandy soil,
- Wet soil
- Occasional drought,
- Wet sites,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Showy fruit,
- Showy flowers,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Mid spring,
- Mid summer,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
A Midwest native dogwood found in damp to wet sites.
Best in full sun in moist areas. Tolerant of soil pH.
Often considered short-lived.
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Disease, pests, and problems
Scale, leaf spots and stem cankers
Native geographic location and habitat
Found along ponds, lakes, streams, and swamps in Midwest to Eastern U.S.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Fruit is loved by many small birds and waterfowl.
Bark color and texture
Twigs are reddish-brown to gray brown with vertical, shallow fissures and lenicles on older stems.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, elliptical to ovate leaves, 3 1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide. Margins are wavy.
Upper leaves are dark green, the lower surface pale with grayish to brown hairs on the veins.
Fall color is a variable reddish-purple to burgundy.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Creamy-white, flat-topped flowers are upright and terminal. Blooms in May-June.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Attractive fruit ripens in late summer, porcelain blue with white blotches.
Each fruit is 1/4-inch diameter and loved by birds.