Red Stick Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’)

Who doesn’t love a splash of red in the garden, especially during those long Winter months. Much like the red cardinal on the white show, this dogwood would look dazzling on a sunny, snow-covered day in the garden.

Red stick dogwood

Discovered via Pinterest User, Dave Scholten

Cornus alba (red-barked, white or Siberian dogwood) is a species of flowering plant in the family Cornaceaenative to Siberia, northern China and Korea. It is a large suckering shrub that can be grown as a small tree. As a popular ornamental used in landscaping its notable features include the red stems in fall (autumn) through late winter, the brightest winter bark of any cornus;[1] and the variegated foliage in somecultivars, such as C. alba ‘elegantissima’, in which the discreet flat whitish flower clusters are almost lost in the variegated texture and dappled light. C. alba can grow to 3 m (10 ft) high, but variegated forms are less vigorous. For the brightest winter bark, young shoots are encouraged by cutting to the ground some older stems at the end of the winter, before leaves are open.

The plant is extremely hardy, to USDA Zone 3.

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit:-

  • ‘Aurea’[2] (yellow leaves)
  • ‘Elegantissima’[3] (deep red stems and small white flowers)
  • ‘Sibirica’[4] (2.5 m (8 ft 2 in), brilliant red stems, cream flowers)
  • ‘Spaethii’[5] (variegated leaves with yellow margins)


More information on Red Stick Dogwood (Cornus alba):

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas