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Cornus alba | Red Twig, Orange Twig or Yellow Twig Dogwood
CHARACTER
Winter interest is this plant’s middle name. The stems can be red, orange or yellow and make a striking statement when planted in a mass of 5 to 10 plants, creating a bright stroke of color in the grayness of winter. They look lovely on neighborhood street corners. Summertime leaves quite similar to Cornus florida, familiar Flowering Dogwood trees of southern naustalgia. White berries are lovely, too. Can be used on banks for erosion control. All dogwoods seem to brighten my day. I’m devoted.

CARE
Dogwood family can get several diseases, cancer, leaf spot, and twif blight among them, but they have few pests and are generally healthy. Pruning will promote canopy air circulation, compactness, and healthy coloring of stems and variegated leaf color. In the first couple years prune only the largest stems untill the plant is established. After that, prune most stems back to 18″ tall every 3 years in Jan or Feb to rejuvinate. Deer will nibble and thus may eliminate the need for pruning.

Variegated dogwood, originally uploaded by weretable.

NOTES
aka: Red Stem Dogwood. Virtually impossible to tell cultivars apart. Closely related to Cornus sericea. Fibrous rooted. Cornus from Latin “Cornu” horn or antler. The common name, dogwood, comes from England. Years ago, people there used the bark of the bloodtwig dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) to bathe mangy dogs. On this continent, flowering dogwood has been used by Native Americans to make scarlet dyes and tinctures. Although the fruits are poisonous to humans, in the late 1700s, colonists made a tea from dogwood bark to reduce fevers and soothe colds. The wood of the dogwood tree is used today to make small tools and ornaments. It has been under cultivation in North America since the 1730s. Today, flowering dogwoods are popular landscaping trees. They are slow growing (often only a few centimeters per year in dense shade), resilient, and beautiful.
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RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Bloodgood’ supposedly the showiest red stem
‘Midwinter Fire’ maybe a bit bigger and slightly longer lasting
‘Ivory Halo’ peachy orange, sensational color, finer texture, more compact 5′ to 6′, variegated leaves
Cornus sericea | Redosia Dogwood 10′, similar characteristics to C. alba
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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 3 – 7 | sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. fast
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 8′ to 10′ / 5′ to 10′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Open, suckering, erect branches
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. ovate, round at base, pointy at tip, 2″ to 4″ long, half as wide
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. dark green, some variegated
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | yellow white and sporadic, 1.5″
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BERRIES | cool blueish white droopes
STEM | color changes from bright reds and yellows in winter to bold green in summer, best color is on younger stems
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL moist, well drained
Native Siberia, Manchuria, Korea
Ohio State University / Cornus alba

Earl J.S. Rook / Cornus alba
I’ve never seen this site before but looks pretty interesting

MO Botanical Garden / Cornus alba Ivory Halo

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