Cornus sericea L.
red-osier dogwood
Cornaceae (Dogwood family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Lydia Dani     (Photo ID #80896)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Cornus sericea
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Deciduous shrub; stems 1-6 m tall, spreading by layering of prostrate stems that simulate stolons; young branches opposite, bright reddish to reddish-purple, later turning greyish-green.
Opposite, deciduous, oval, pointed, 4-12 cm long, greenish above, whitish below, turning reddish in the autumn, 5-7 prominent parallel veins converging at the leaf tips, white threads running through the veins.
Inflorescence of flat-topped terminal clusters, 2-4 cm wide; flowers white to greenish-white, 4 petals and stamens, bracts inconspicuous.
Berrylike drupes, 7-9 mm long, white sometimes blue-tinged, each with flattened stone.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cornus sericea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
759 0 2500
Slope Gradient (%)
12 -2 230

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

243 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(62), BWBS(335), CDF(64), CWH(465), ESSF(67), ICH(1250), IDF(570), MH(1), MS(315), PP(64), SBPS(22), SBS(1270)

Habitat and Range

Wet to mesic streamsides, lakesides, swamps and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to WV, OH, NE, NM, CA and MX.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Cornus ×californica C.A. Mey.
Cornus alba var. californica (C.A. Mey.) B. Boivin
Cornus alba var. occidentalis (Torr. & A. Gray) B. Boivin
Cornus occidentalis (Torr. & A. Gray) Coville
Cornus sericea subsp. sericea L.
Cornus stolonifera Michx.
Cornus stolonifera var. californica (C.A. Mey.) McMinn
Cornus stolonifera var. occidentalis (Torr. & A. Gray) C.L. Hitchc.