Color in the Winter Garden – Red and Yellow Twig Dogwoods

Red-Twigged Dogwood by Mr. Danport

Winter is the time of year when people who live in climates where there is a barren landscape or with snow, would like to look out the window and see some color outdoors. Unless you have “planted” artificial flowers, no living flowers will bloom outdoors at this time of year. So those lucky or smart enough will have planted plants on their grounds with color interest. If you don’t have plants with color, consider adding them to your landscape in the spring so that they will brighten the view next winter.

Two popular plants for winter interest are the red and yellow twig dogwoods.

Red twig dogwoods such as Cornus alba cultivar ‘Elegantissima’ or the cultivar ‘Argenteo-marginata’ are native to Asia.

Red osier dogwoods (Cornus sericea or Cornus stolonifera) with a cultivar like ‘Cardinal’ are native to North America.

Bloodtwig dogwoods (Cornus sanguinea) with cultivars like ‘Winter Beauty’ or ‘Winter Flame’ are native to Europe.

Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea' by Caffinara

The Yellow twig dogwood is Cornus sericea with cultivars like ‘Flaviramea’ or ‘ Bud’s Yellow’ or ‘Silver and Gold”

Some of the cultivars are more orange than red or are yellow with red tips.

Both yellow twig and red twig dogwoods are shrubs, which mean they grow about 10 feet tall. They have berries and flowers so they have all year interest, but they are both grown mainly for their wintertime twig color. Some grow in temperature zones as low as zone 2 and as high as zone 8. They like sun for most twig color but can take slight shade. These are showiest and most effective if you have a location where you can plant a few shrubs in one area that you can see out the window.

If you are interested in these shrub dogwoods, check out the best nursery in your area. See which cultivars they recommend for your area. You don’t have to buy the plants at this nursery; but you will get an idea of what the best nursery recommends. Then see what the lower priced nurseries have available. See if you like what you see. The price might just be lower because they sell a smaller tree. Google up the Latin name of the plant with the cultivar and see if you have the best environment on your property for the plant.

If you plant the yellow and/or red twig dogwoods, please send TheGardenLady blog a photo of the colored twigs next year in the winter. The photo would be especially appreciated surrounded by snow- like most of the country is getting this year.