{Almost} Wordless Wednesday :: Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by Trillium Art

Cornus Red Twig Dogwood
As we drive through our grey and brown landscape, there are occasional hints of colour; the yellow of the Eastern Larch, the greens of the conifers and the red stems of the dogwoods. It is this splash of red colour that people crave when they start their winter decorating around their home.

The Red Osier Dogwood is a member of the large North American native dogwood family. Unlike the groundcover of the Canadian Bunchberry, the Red Osier Dogwood (or Red Twig Dogwood) is a woody shrub with distinctive red bark that grows in open wetlands. Deer often eat the fruit, ends of the twigs and leaves while squirrels, mice and birds also depend on the thicket for food and protection.

This plant is an important landscape shrub as long as there is room for the shrub to spread. It is wonderful as a screen especially in mass plantings or groupings during the summer and provides spectacular colour in the fall and winter. Since it prefers wet feet, it is a popular plant for soil stabilization along the banks of waterways.

This time of year, the showy twigs are one of the most popular cut boughs used for winter decorating either in outdoor winter arrangements, or indoor centrepieces. Visit the online gallery for photos of outdoor decorating, many include Dogwood branches.

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Zone: 2

Light Conditions: full sun to light shade

Height: 5-9′

Spread: 5-10′

Fruit: the white berry found in August and September

Leaves: dark green growing opposite each other with a fall colour of bright red to purple

Bark: stems are a showy red colour from fall through winter

Flower Power: clusters of off-white flowers in late May to early June

Tip: spreads underground to form dense thickets and therefore used for soil retention along the banks of waterway s for erosion protection

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