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Cornus alba Sibirica

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Dogwood

Bright pinky-red stems throughout the winter

This Dogwood has a trick up its sleeve - the deep-green leaves are pleasing enough through spring and summer but in autumn they turn brilliantly to deep-scarlet before falling. Sealing wax red stems are revealed and glow in winter sunlight. Flat heads of white flowers grow in spring and are followed by blue-white berries which are loved by birds.

Where?

Plant in damp or permanently-wet soil - heavy clay is ideal. Choose a partly-shaded area, ideally near water, which will reflect the bold stem colour through the winter months.

How?

Work some organic matter into the soil before planting but don't worry if the soil is very wet - Dogwoods are great for sucking up moisture. Cut back hard to a basic framework of branches a few inches from the ground every other year in late winter to encourage new stems that have the best bark colour.

This dogwood cultivar arose in the 1830s at Westonbirt Arboretum and has the alternative name of Cornus alba 'Westonbirt'.

Plant details


In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available March - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer
Flowering June - July
Evergreen No
Plant height 150 cm - 250 cm
Plant width 150 cm - 250 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 130 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H7

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From March to September