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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Red Osier Dogwood - Pages 70-71

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Red Osier Dogwood
Cornus sericea (C. stolonifera)

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers saturated soil. Species tolerates periodic inundation of 0-12 inches early in the season for short durations. During growing season, this species will tolerate constant inundation for less than 30 days.

Wildlife Value

Berries are eaten by many songbirds and ruffed grouse. Deer and rabbits browse twigs and buds. Thickets provide cover and nesting habitat. Provides excellent warbler habitat. Also provides food for raccoon, woodchuck, and beaver.


Used in upper shoreline zones, for streambank stabilization, and upland slope buffers.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Excellent seedling establishment. Very easy to propagate.
  • Widely available as bare root or balled and burlapped.
  • Can root from cuttings.
  • Spreads by stolons. Fast growth rate, more than 2 feet per year.

Red Osier Dogwood
Cornus sericea (C. stolonifera)

Mature HeightRed Osier Dogwood
3-9 feet

Plant Type
Deciduous shrub

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet


Nutrient Load Tolerance
Moderate to high

Salt Tolerance
Not tolerant

Siltation Tolerance
Moderate to high

Flowering Color and Time
May and August

Light Preference
Partial to full sun

Seeding Rate
Not applicable

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