Red Twigs

Spots of vibrant color in our wintry landscape, two red-twig dogwoods, Cornus alba or perhaps the native Cornus sericea, grow to tree height outside the ground floor of our home. These plants are also called Siberian, Redosier, or Tartarian dogwood, interchangeably. Since we didn’t plant these, I’m not certain of their exact variety.

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When leafed out, one variety bears variegated foliage. Both produce flat-topped, creamy white blooms that are nondescript from afar during the summer season, but upon close inspection are beautifully detailed.

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Dogwoods are multi-stemmed, wide-spreading shrubs. Many suckers form a generous base, and speed of growth is one of their benefits. These can be contained with yearly pruning or renewed by a hard pruning every few years. Ours have reached their mature height:  10 feet for the green leaf variety and 6 feet for the variegated. Clippings from both bushes make brilliant additions to wintry bouquets.

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