Beverly Drive in winter can be gloomy, but here and there, one sees pops of red color. The bright red stems of red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) provide a welcome break in winter's gray.
The plant has more than just winter interest. Its late spring 2-inch clusters of tiny white flowers give way to white berries that birds like. It has dark green leaves that in some varieties are varigated with gray margins. Fall leaves turn a red-purple, though the leaves often have brown spots. But when they fall, they give way to those attractive red stems.
Red osier dogwood is a fast growing plant that grows upright to 6-9 feet high. The stems radiate from the base of the shrub. giving the plant a very upright appearance.
Given its success along Beverly Drive, it isn't surprising that red osier dogwood prefers medium to wet soils, but it will grow thoughout the Beverly Shores area, as long as you give it some water during dry periods. It is useful for hedges and screening. In a woodland garden, it is a good choice for planting in front of large evergreens that help its red stems to stand out in winter.
If you have questions about red osier dogwood or other native or non-native plants, don’t hesitate to contact Terry Bonace (firstname.lastname@example.org), Candice Smith (email@example.com), or Bill Schaudt (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance. Also please explore our website, www.bserg.org, for further information on invasive plants and native replacements.