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Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ (Bloodtwig Dogwood)

Bloodtwig Dogwood 'Winter Flame', European Dogwood 'Winter Flame', Dogwood 'Winter Flame'

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Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’, commonly known as Winter Flame Dogwood, is a deciduous shrub that is admired for its brightly colored stems, which transition from yellow at the base to orange and finally to a fiery red at the tips. This dramatic coloration adds spectacular winter interest to the landscape.

Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’: An In-depth Look

Native: Winter Flame is a cultivar of Cornus sanguinea, which is native to Europe and parts of Western Asia.

Plant Type and Habit: It is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an upright and somewhat spreading habit, making it ideal for mass plantings or as a standalone specimen.

Size: This dogwood typically reaches a height and spread of 8-10 feet (240-300 cm), although it can be kept smaller with pruning.

Flowers: The shrub produces clusters of small, cream-white flowers that are not particularly showy but are attractive to pollinators. The flowering period is generally from late spring to early summer.

Foliage: The leaves are ovate, medium to dark green in color, and may exhibit autumn colors ranging from yellow to red before falling off.

Hardiness: Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, making it quite resilient to varying weather conditions, including cold winters.

Uses: Due to its brilliant winter stem color, it is often used for winter interest in borders, in mass plantings, or as an accent plant. It is also useful for erosion control on slopes and banks. Great for both fresh and dried flower arrangements.

 Wildlife: The modest flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators, and the berries that sometimes follow are a food source for birds.

Deer and Rabbits: The plant is somewhat resistant to deer, although not completely deer-proof. Rabbits may browse young shoots, but mature plants are generally less affected.

Toxicity: Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ is generally considered non-toxic to humans and pets, but ingesting large amounts may cause stomach upset.

Invasiveness: Cornus ‘Winter Flame’ is not considered invasive.

Benefits: Its main benefits include its striking winter stem color and multi-season interest, from flowers in the spring to attractive foliage in the summer and fall.

How to Grow and Care for Bloodtwig Dogwood

Light: Prefers full sun to partial shade; brighter light enhances stem color.

Soil: Adaptable to a variety of soil types but prefers well-drained, moderately fertile soil.

Water: Keep soil consistently moist, especially for newly planted shrubs.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring; avoid over-fertilization to prevent leggy growth.

Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring, removing about a third of the oldest stems to encourage new growth and vibrant stem color.

Propagation: Can be propagated through hardwood cuttings in winter or softwood cuttings in summer.

Pests and Diseases: Generally resilient; susceptible to dogwood sawfly and scale. Potential diseases include leaf spot, canker, and root rot; monitor and treat as needed.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your Cornus sanguinea maintains its striking appearance and health, becoming a focal point in your garden especially during the winter months.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Cornaceae
Genus Cornus
Common names Dogwood
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, 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
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Cornus alternifolia Golden Shadows® (Pagoda 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)
Cornus alba Creme de Mint (Tatarian Dogwood)

Recommended Companion Plants

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (Hakone Grass)
Aster novae-angliae ‘September Ruby’ (New England Aster)
Aster amellus ‘Violet Queen’ or ‘Veilchenkönigin’ (Italian Aster)
Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’ (Winter Heath)
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ (Chinese Silver Grass)
Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’ (‘Autumn Joy’)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Glowing Winter Garden with Dogwood, Sedum and Grasses
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 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Cornaceae
Genus Cornus
Common names Dogwood
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, 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
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Cornus (Dogwood)
Guides with
Cornus (Dogwood)
Not sure which Cornus (Dogwood) to pick?
Compare Now

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