Cornus sanguinea

Common dogwood

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Key information

Plant type

Native shrub

Flower colour



Autumn colour, Colourful bark



Skill level


Cornus sanguinea

Plant details

Colourful-barked dogwoods are typically grown for winter colour, when their colourful, leafless stems shine like beacons in the bare winter garden. Cornus sanguinea has red stems, and looks fantastic when planted with evergreen shrubs, and among spring flowers.

It's tolerant of a wide range of soil types, and produces the brightest winter bark when planted in full sun. To keep the size of the plant in check and to encourage the most colourful bark, remove a third of the stems back to ground level each spring.

Cornus sanguinea also bears off-white flowers in summer, colourful berries and gorgeous autumn foliage.

Family: Cornaceae

Genus: Cornus

Species: sanguinea

Plant type: Native shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Autumn colour, Colourful bark

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 300cm

Spread: 240cm

Time to take cuttings: November to February

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