Cornus sericea - L.
Red-osier Dogwood
Other English Common Names: Silky Dogwood
Other Common Names: red-osier dogwood
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cornus sericea L. (TSN 501637)
French Common Names: cornouiller stolonifère
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.140261
Element Code: PDCOR010C0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Dogwood Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Cornales Cornaceae Cornus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cornus sericea
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 29Feb1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Cornus spp. have many characteristics that make them a widely dispersed and successful species in woodland ecosystems of North America. Cornus sericea is also widespread and found in the typical woodland/woodland-riparian habitat.

Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (23Mar2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (SNR), Arizona (SNR), California (SNR), Colorado (SNR), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (SU), District of Columbia (SNR), Idaho (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S3), Kentucky (S1S2), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Montana (S5), Nebraska (SNR), Nevada (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New Mexico (SNR), New York (SNR), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (SNR), South Dakota (SNR), Utah (SNR), Vermont (SNR), Virginia (S1), Washington (SNR), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNR), Wyoming (S4)
Canada Alberta (S5), British Columbia (S5), Labrador (S5), Manitoba (SNR), New Brunswick (S5), Newfoundland Island (S5), Northwest Territories (SNR), Nova Scotia (S5), Nunavut (SU), Ontario (S5), Prince Edward Island (S5), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S5), Yukon Territory (S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: C. stolonifera is native to North America and occurs along shores and in thickets from Newfoundland and S. Labrador west to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and south to New Mexico, Arizona and California (Fernald 1950).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Cornus spp. are natural early successional components of many woodland ecosystems in North America. They have many adaptions that enable them to take advantage of open areas, including a large number of seeds, vigorous seedlings and rapid subsequent growth, dispersal by birds, and high tolerance to adverse conditions such as drought and shade (Smith 1975, citing Auclair and Cottam 1971). Rapid and extensive cloning by rhizomatous growth allows dogwood species to create dense thickets which crowd out desired grasses, sedges and forbs, and alter wildlife habitat. Invasion of dogwood, along with other woody species, into prairies and wetlands became more extensive mainly due to the post-settlement decline in wildfires.

Woody plant invasion of floodplains is a concern in some areas, particularly in the western U.S., where stream diversion has greatly reduced the flow in rivers. Water diversion can reduce river flow to the extent that dogwoods and other woody plants invade the floodplain, reducing river channel width and drastically altering wildlife habitat. For example, woody plant invasion, including C. drummondii, willows (Salix spp.), green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), has reduced channel area of the Platte River in Nebraska by 50-85%, resulting in a loss of up to 97% of the roosting habitat for sandhill and whooping cranes and many other migratory birds (Currier 1987).

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: C. stolonifera is native to North America and occurs along shores and in thickets from Newfoundland and S. Labrador west to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and south to New Mexico, Arizona and California (Fernald 1950).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WVexotic, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Wolfe (21237)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Kentucky (05100204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: C. stolonifera is an ascending to loosely spreading shrub with branches often prostate and freely rooting. Branchlets are green and pubescent, becoming smooth and purplish to bright red, the pith large and white.
Technical Description: Leaves are broadly ovate to oblong-lanceolate, simple and opposite, 5-15 cm long and 3-9 cm wide, dark green above, paler to whitened and glabrous beneath. Flowers are small, dull white in flattish-topped cymes. The fruit is a rounded white or bluish drupe, 6 mm or more in diameter (Fernald 1950, Soper and Heimburger 1982). Where they occur together, C. stolonifera may be told from C. racemosa by its flat or rounded, as opposed to pyramidal, inflorescence, and twigs red with a white pith, as opposed to tan or gray twigs with a white pith becoming brown by the second year (Stephens 1973).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Sexual reproduction: These dogwoods probably reach sexual maturity in three to four years. There is one viable seed per drupe in all four species (Stephens 1973).

Seed dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by a variety of birds, including crows, vireos, redheaded woodpeckers and bluebirds (Ridley 1930), autumn through winter (Stephens 1973). Availability of perching sites may be important in dispersal.

Germination: Germination usually occurs in the spring following seed production and dispersal to a favorable site, but may be delayed a year due to a dormant embryo, hard pericarp (Brinkman 1974), and possible chemical inhibition by the pulp (Goodwin 1948). Mechanical and chemical scarification and stratification techniques are used commercially to stimulate germination in dogwood (Brinkman 1974). C. racemosa and C. stolonifera are described by Krefting and Roe (1949) as having "double dormancy", or requiring two periods of stratification for germination. C. stolonifera seeds that were treated first with acids then with cold stratification experienced almost 100% germination, whereas germination was much lower for those seeds receiving cold treatment only. However, seeds of both species that were twice stratified by passage through quail or pheasant gut plus cold treatment also gave relatively low percent germination. The authors suggested that this was due to a large amount of variability in the extent of scarification from the bird gizzards. Some seeds are injured or overstratified in the bird gut and some are left unscathed or understratified (Krefting and Roe 1949).

Seedling establishment: Some Cornus spp. shrub seedlings are tolerant of variable light intensities, and may become established in woodland edges, within woods, or in open areas (Gatherum et al. 1963, Smith 1975). Seedlings may invade grasslands alone or with other woody plants (McClain pers. comm.).

Asexual reproduction: C. drummondii, C. racemosa, C. stolonifera and C. obliqua reproduce most successfully by vegetative growth following seedling establishment. Thickets may expand by adventitious underground shoot growth or rhizomatous growth (Stephens 1973, Wilson 1965, Smith 1975).

Ecology Comments: Populations: Dogwood invasion of grasslands from swales, ravines, and woodland edges of floodplains is accelerated by vegetative reproduction and tolerance to wind, full exposure or partial shade, and dry soils (Pound and Clements 1900, Costello 1931, Steyermark 1940, Albertson and Weaver 1945, Weaver 1965, Duxbury 1982).

As density within a dogwood thicket increases, groundcover vegetation decreases and may become entirely absent (Aikman 1928, Weaver 1965). Annual weeds sometimes grow beneath dogwood (Duxbury 1982, Nyboer pers. comm. 1983), and bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) may invade dogwood thickets (Albertson and Weaver 1945, Aikman 1928). Dogwood may persist and sometimes dominate the understory of woods (Duxbury 1982).

Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, Scrub-shrub wetland
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: It grows in low, damp ground along shores, river flats, marshes, damp open woods, and roadsides (Soper and Heimburger 1982). In Wisconsin, Haglund (pers. comm.) described C. stolonifera as an inhabitant of sedge meadows, calcareous fens, wet mesic prairies, and stream banks.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: LANDSCAPING, Cultivated ornamental
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Feb1988
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: C. CONVERSE, 1984, UPDATE BY NANCY ECKARDT, MRO
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Feb1988
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): C. CONVERSE, 1984, UPDATE BY NANCY ECKARDT, MRO

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • Murrell, Z.E., and D.B. Poindexter. 2014. Cornaceae, Dogwood Family.  Draft Flora of North American Vol. 12 treatment dated 19 February 2014. 48 pp.

  • Rickett, H. W.  1944.  Cornales.  North American Flora 28B: 297--316 [Cornaceae, Nyssaceae].

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