Plant Taxonomy of Red Twig Dogwoods:
Characteristics of Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs:
Planting Zones for Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs:
Outstanding Characteristic of Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs:
Uses for Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs in Landscaping:
Care -- Pruning Red Twig Dogwoods:
The brightness of this bush's red twigs has a tendency to fade over time from winter to summer, and there's not much you can do about that. But through proper care, you can do something about the fact that the older branches tend to be less colorful than the younger ones. Care for this plant amounts mainly to pruning. Prune in late winter.
For maximal color, prune out 1/3 of the older branches every three years or so (or even annually, as long as you don't mind having a plant of a smaller size). Such care will promote new growth; and since the younger branches bear the brightest color, that's precisely the growth that you want to encourage.
Origin, Other Names for Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs:
The species plants (Cornus alba) are indigenous to eastern and central Asia, including some of the stomping grounds of the Tatars or Tartars; thus "Tatarian dogwoods" or "Tartarian dogwoods" is an alternate name for red twig dogwood shrubs.
When people wish to call attention to the foliage, rather than the bark of variegated red twig dogwood shrubs, they may refer to them by names such as "silverleaf dogwoods," "silver-edge dogwoods" ('Argenteo-marginata' means "silver-edged" in Latin), or "cream-edge tatarian dogwoods."
Red Dogwoods -- And Yellow and Orange, Too!:
Different species of dogwood shrubs with red bark can be found around the globe in the Northern Hemisphere. All are classified under the genus, Cornus:
- Red twig dogwoods (Cornus alba), native to Asia
- Red osier dogwoods (Cornus sericea or Cornus stolonifera), native to North America
- Bloodtwig dogwoods (Cornus sanguinea), native to Europe
The similarities between these species -- and the similarity in their common names, all of which include or signify "red" -- has led to much confusion as to which is which, even in the nursery trade. If you have your heart set on a particular cultivar, be sure to make your purchase from an establishment that you trust.
By the way, etymologists tell us that the word "dogwood" has nothing to do with dogs. Instead, it harkens back to an old word, "dag" (think "dagger"), which referred to a sharp tool. Dogwood branches were useful in making such tools, since the wood is so hard. Indeed, the Latin genus name for dogwood is Cornus and means "horn."