Red Twig Dogwood

Red twig dogwood - Cornus alba

Zones: 3 to 8
Light: Part Shade to Shade
Bloom Time: Spring
Height: 8′
Spread: 8′

The red twig dogwood (Cornus servicea, Cornus alba, or Cornus sanguinea) is a shade-loving shrub with very attractive variegated gray-green leaves that provide a bright light in the shaded border.

It has insignificant white flowers in the spring, followed by white berries, but the compelling reason to plant this shrub is for the winter interest of its red stems.

The red color definitely makes a statement in the garden, especially when planted in masses or with its close cousin the yellow twig dogwood.

These shrubs can be kept small and will produce more brightly colored stems by pruning out 1/3 of the old stems in the winter. Otherwise, it will reach 8’ tall.

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This post was originally published on June 21, 2020 but was updated with new content on December 8, 2021.