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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

red-osier dogwood

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red osier dogwood in bloom
© Greg Rabourn
red osier dogwood in bloom (enlarge)
Red-osier dogwood with fruit and flowers red twig dogwood flower cluster

Cornus sericea

Deciduous Shrub

Height: 15 ft.

Availability: High

Growing ease: High

Moisture req.: moist - wet

Exposure req.: sun - shade


Plant description:

Another plant for wetter areas, even right in shallow water. This is an attractive plant almost year round. In the winter it is known for its flaming red bark and in the spring and summer for it's light foliage that flickers in the wind. Fall foliage is golden to reddish on red stems. The small flowers are in large clusters of frothy white. The berries are pale with a touch of blue. For best gardening effect these need to be pruned to an inch above ground in the early spring as the red begins to darken and just before new buds begin to appear. They will form thickets which birds love and they can also draw deer. If left unpruned they will grow to 15, but they make a fine screen in summer.

Keywords: birds, broad, butterflies, fast, fire-resistant , fruit, red, spreading, upright, white

Articles that mention this plant: Guidance for Shoreline Plantings, Native plants for fall color

Plans that use this plant:Moist, part shade, Moist, shady, Wet, part shade, Wet, shady, Wet, sunny