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Cornus alba (Tatarian Dogwood)

Tatarian Dogwood, Red-Barked Dogwood, White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood

Cornus Alba, Tatarian Dogwood, Red-Barked Dogwood, White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Deciduous Shrubs, Foliage, Fall color, Winter color, shrub with berries
Cornus Alba, Tatarian Dogwood, Red-Barked Dogwood, White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Deciduous Shrubs, Foliage, Fall color, Winter color, shrub with berries
Cornus Alba, Tatarian Dogwood, Red-Barked Dogwood, White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Deciduous Shrubs, Foliage, Fall color, Winter color, shrub with berries
Cornus Alba, Tatarian Dogwood, Red-Barked Dogwood, White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Deciduous Shrubs, Foliage, Fall color, Winter color, shrub with berries

Noted for its colorful stems and twigs in winter, Cornus alba (Tatarian Dogwood) is a medium-sized ornamental shrub with great appeal. Rapidly growing and adaptable to wet or dry soils, it features spectacular decorative features: stunning fall color, attractive berries, showy red stems, and sometimes lovely variegated summer foliage. A spectacular addition in the garden for most seasons, Tatarian Dogwood certainly adds a WOW! to a winter landscape.

  • Cornus alba is a multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub with an upright oval to rounded habit when young, becoming either arching and spreading or open and straggly with age. It grows at a fast rate, typically up to 8-10 ft. high and across (240-300 cm), but there are many dwarfs or larger varieties available.
  • The stems are often numerous and beautifully radiate from the base of the shrub. They develop their intense and showy coloration, usually red, in fall and winter.
  • Flat-topped clusters of tiny creamy-white flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), appear in late spring and sometimes sporadically flower in late summer or early fall. While not especially showy, they attract happy butterflies and pollinators and give way in midsummer to clusters of white berries, sometimes tinged with blue, that birds greedily devour.
  • The summer foliage consists of elliptic to ovate leaves, either solid green or variegated, with veins curving and parallel to the entire margins. The fall color is insignificant among cultivars with variegated leaves. Other cultivars have yellow or red-purple fall colors.
  • Tatarian dogwood is similar in appearance to redtwig dogwood (C. sericea/stolonifera), but generally does not spread as aggressively. Promptly remove root suckers if the colonial spread is undesired.
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade, in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils. It is not fussy about soils, provided they are kept evenly moist and well-drained. Tolerates many conditions, including wet, dry, and poor soils.
  • Looks spectacular when massed to emphasize and accentuate the cold season red stem color. Great choice for shrub borders, as an informal hedge or screen, for foundation plantings, banks and slopes (erosion control), or planted in naturalistic plantings where it can freely spread and form thickets.
  • When stressed, the shrub is susceptible to disease issues, including dogwood anthracnose, powdery mildew, leaf spot, canker, root rot, and leaf and twig blight. It is more vulnerable to diseases in hot summer climates (south of USDA Zone 7). Deer and rabbit resistant. Learn more about dogwood pests and diseases.
  • While pruning is not required, it should be noted that the best winter stem color appears on new growth. For the best display, cut the stems flush to the ground every 2-3 years in early spring, just as the leaf buds start to swell. This radical pruning, however, means that you will have a bare spot in the garden for a few weeks and miss the creamy-white flowers or attractive berries since they only form on second-year growth. Alternatively, if severe pruning seems onerous, one-quarter or one-third of the oldest stems could be pruned in the early spring each year to stimulate the growth of new stems.
  • Propagate by hardwood cuttings.
  • Cornus alba is a species of dogwood native to eastern and central Asia. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant, whose available cultivars have been selected for their winter glowing colors.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Cornaceae
Genus Cornus
Common names White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Dogwood
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spread 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spacing 96" - 120"
(240cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Cornus alternifolia Golden Shadows® (Pagoda Dogwood)
Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ (Bloodtwig Dogwood)
Cornus sanguinea Arctic Sun® (Bloodtwig Dogwood)
Cornus sericea Arctic Fire® Red (Redtwig Dogwood)
Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Spring’ (Flowering Dogwood)
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Sunset’ (Flowering Dogwood)

Recommended Companion Plants

Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’ (Winter Heath)
Astilbe ‘Rheinland’ (Japonica Hybrid)
Sedum ‘Matrona’ (Stonecrop)
Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ (Frikart’s Aster)
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ (Bloodtwig Dogwood)
Astilbe ‘Fanal’ (Arendsii Hybrid)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
Small Trees and Shrubs That Bloom In Winter
Roots of Life: Exploring the Diverse World of Trees
35 Best Flowering Trees for a Spectacular Garden Display
Small Trees, Big Impact: Maximize Your Garden’s Potential
Spectacular Trees for Vibrant Fall Colors: A Gardener’s Guide
Pure White Flowers for a Touch of Elegance in Your Garden
24 Types of Dogwood Trees and Shrubs
Dogwood Tree Facts You May Not Know
35 Flowering Shrubs That Thrive in Full Sun
40 Beautiful Native Shrubs for Shade
Flowering Dogwood – Problems and Alternatives
Cornus (Dogwood) – What Is Wrong With My Tree?
Cornus (Dogwood) – Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For
Cornus (Dogwood)
Dogwood Trees: Add Vibrant Beauty to Your Landscape
Trees with Four Seasons of Interest for Your Garden
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
Attractive Shrubs and Trees with White Fruits and Berries
Shrubs and Trees with Colorful and Distinctive Twigs in Winter
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 7
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Cornaceae
Genus Cornus
Common names White Dogwood, Siberian Dogwood, Dogwood
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spread 8' - 10'
(240cm - 3m)
Spacing 96" - 120"
(240cm - 3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Cornus (Dogwood)
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