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Botanical name: Cornus sericea (syn. Cornus stolonifera)
Common names: Redtwig dogwood, red osier dogwood, American dogwood, red willow, redstem dogwood, redosier dogwood, creek dogwood
USDA zones: 2-7
Water requirement: Moderate
Sun requirement: Full sun to shade
Mature size: 7-9’ tall, spreads to 12’ wide
Tolerances: Deer, soil — including wet soil and clay soil
Environmental benefits: Fruit attracts birds and wildlife; flowers attract butterflies
Distinguishing traits. Redtwig dogwood is a shrub for all seasons. With a dense multi-stemmed structure as a base, ovate green leaves cover its smooth green stems in spring. Leaves are joined by creamy white floral clusters in summer, followed by creamy white or blue berries.
Transitioning from summer to autumn, stems and foliage turn a brilliant crimson, persisting into the onset of fall.
How to use it. Consider adding a rain garden to your landscape to curb stormwater runoff. Found naturally in damp areas, redtwig dogwood is inherently suited wet conditions.
During a time of year that most plants are on hiatus, redtwig dogwood is at the peak of its visual interest. A quick spreader and soil stabilizer, redtwig dogwood makes a great hillside or bank space filler. Plant in mass for a lush green screen in spring and summer and a fiery red landscape accent in fall and winter.