I know... I have told you about some of my favorite shrubs before... and I do have more than a few. Well, I do love deciduous (the ones that lose their leaves in the winter here in the East) shrubs ... they are just "showy" - you know like jeweled accessories to your favorite outfit. Deciduous shrubs are the middle children begging for attention... and know what... they get it! You got your mack daddy evergreens towering above and around them and there they are like presents under the Christmas tree. Ok... you get the picture. Now about "one" of my favs- the Redtwig Dogwood.
There are many different varieties of Redtwig Dogwood. My favorite is Cornus alba 'Elegantissima. They can get 10' high and 10' wide, however they can be pruned every year and older branches removed to keep the winter branches red in color. In spring, the variegated leaves take over the show until fall.
Those unfamiliar with the Redtwig Dogwood, should not confuse them with Dogwood trees. Their flowers aren't similar at all. Elegantissimas have small, fragrant white flowers that tend to get lost in the leaves. They prefer partial shade and well drained fertile soils. Zones 2-8.
Want a "zing" in your naturalized landscape... this is your baby! The creamy white and green variegated leaves on red stems are definitely attention getting.
The red branches in winter are pretty impressive! Can you picture them with a backdrop of spruce or cypresses? Yeah ... Cool huh?