Red Osier Dogwood

Distinctive red branches year round. Vibrantly coloured stems provide winter interest, even when the leaves are gone.

February 20, 2015 | | Blogs | Leisure | Not So Hollow Farm

Cornus serica aka Red Osier Dogwood, Red Willow and American Dogwood. Best known for its red branches that stand out in the snow. Spreads by underground stems (stolons) which helps stabilize wet slopes. Does well in wet areas. Good for making baskets as the twigs bend easily. Deer resistant. Attracts pollinators. Tolerant of urban pollution.

Red Osier Dogwood Characteristics

Dogwood Berries And FlowersLeaves:  Medium to dark green in summer. Purplish to reddish in the fall.
Stem/Bark:  Distinctive red branches year round. Vibrantly coloured stems provide winter interest, even when the leaves are gone.
Flower:  Small white flowers in a flat-topped clusters, 2 inches in diameter that appear in May-June.
Fruit/Nut:  White berry clusters in August-September.
Habit:  Loose, broad spreading, rounded, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub.
Hardiness: Zone 2
Height: 8’ – 10’
Width: 8’ – 10’

Why grow native plants?

A native plant is defined as a species of fauna that was already established before colonization. There are numerous benefits to the use of Native Plants. Native plants have grown and evolved in a given area for generations and therefore are more prepared to face the elements. As a result they are much hardier and less finicky to care for. The wildlife in the area has also evolved along side these plants, and because of this has formed bonds with them. Most butterflies have a specific plant species from which they collect nectar for their offspring. There are many birds that will feed directly from local trees for seed, nectar or fruit, but won’t use the bird feeder you’ve bought to attract them. These plants also work together to grow as natural plant communities. Most of the trees won’t grow their leaves until after the wildflowers have had an adequate amount of time to flower before they’re covered by shade. Finally, of course, there is the fact that all of these plants and animals combine to make a sustainable, complete, functioning ecosystem. Why fight thousands of years of evolution?

Have questions about native plants? Post a comment and Ian will get back to you.

About the Author More by Ian Payne

Not So Hollow Farm is nestled in the Hills of Mulmur saving the planet one Native Plant at a time. Check out the blog "Not So Hollow Farm Native Plant Showcase".

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