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.
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
Skill level: Beginner
Time to take cuttings: November to February
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