Alphabetical Plant Listing

Cornus sericea (Red Osier Dogwood)

Red Osier Dogwood, Red-Osier Dogwood, RedOsier Dogwood, Red Willow, Redstem Dogwood, Redtwig Dogwood, Red-Rood, American Dogwood, Creek Dogwood, Western Dogwood, Cornus stolonifera, Swida sericea


Adding a pop of vibrant color in the snowy, dull months of winter, Cornus sericea (Red Osier Dogwood) is a medium-sized ornamental shrub with incredible appeal. Rapidly-growing, adaptable to most soils including wet soils, it features spectacular decorative features : stunning fall color, attractive berries, vibrant red or golden stems and sometimes a lovely variegated summer foliage. A spectacular addition in the garden for most seasons, Red Osier Dogwood certainly adds a WOW! to a winter landscape.

  • Cornus sericea is a multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub with an upright, spreading habit. It grows at a fast rate, typically up to 6-9 ft. high (180-270 cm) and 8-12 ft. across (240-360 cm), but there are many dwarf 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 bright red, in fall and winter.
  • Flat-topped clusters of tiny, fragrant, creamy-white flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), appear in late spring and sometimes sporadically flower in summer. While not especially showy, they attract happy butterflies and pollinators and give way to clusters of white berries, sometimes tinged with blue, that are greedily devoured by birds
  • The summer foliage consists of ovate, medium to dark green leaves which turn dull or rich red-purple in fall.
  • Promptly remove root suckers if colonial spread is undesired
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade, in organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils. It is not fussy about soils provided they are kept evenly moist and well-drained. This plant is more vulnerable to diseases in hot summer climates (south of USDA Zone 7)
  • Generally disease free, Cornus sericea may be affected by leaf and twig blights, canker and leaf spots.
  • Easy to grow, easy to care for and deer resistant.
  • Cornus sericea looks spectacular when massed to emphasize and accentuate the cold season stem color. Great choice for shrub borders, along ponds and streams, or planted in naturalistic plantings where it can freely spread and form thickets.
  • 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 to onerous, one quarter or one third of the oldest stems could be pruned in early spring of each year, to stimulate the growth of new stems.
  • Propagated primarily by rooted stem cuttings
  • Cornus sericea is a species of dogwood native to much of North America (excluding the lower midwest and deep South). It is widely grown as an ornamental plant, whose available cultivars have been selected for their winter glowing colors.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
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 Cornus - Dogwoods
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 9' (180cm – 270cm)
Spread 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spacing 96" – 144" (240cm – 360cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden

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123RF Stock Photo

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
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 Cornus - Dogwoods
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 9' (180cm – 270cm)
Spread 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spacing 96" – 144" (240cm – 360cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow, Traditional Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Cornus - Dogwoods

Guides with Cornus - Dogwoods

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