WSU Clark County Extension

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Red Twig Dogwood

Scientific name: Cornus sericea

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:2 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:10 ft
Width:12 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April to May
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Red Twig Dogwood is best known for its bright red winter stems which add color when it is needed most. The alternative name for this shrub is Redosier Dogwood.

This Northwest native deciduous shrub grows to a height of 6’-10’ with an equal to greater spread. It has a rounded and spreading habit, but stays loose and open in appearance. It spread by underground stolens.

This species bears deciduous simple leaves, arranged in an opposite arrangement. The leaf shape is described as ovate with rounded bases and acuminate tips. Leaves are 2”-5” long and 1”-2.5” wide. During the summer the leaves have a dark green color, but in the fall they take on a dull or rich purple-red color which is very pleasing in the woodland garden.

During the late spring white flower clusters begin to show. In the late summer the flowers morph to dull white berries. Berries are 1/3” in diameter. Birds love to feast on this fruit!

Red stem dogwood is very adaptable to many soils, including those that are wet. It is often used in wetland restoration sites for this reason. With its ability to spread to form thickets Red Twig Dogwood is very effective in keeping soils intact on steeper slopes. It does best in full sun conditions.

None reported in the Northwest.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234