Botanical Name: Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’
Common Name: Red Twig or Red Osier Dogwood
Nativity: Northern North America
Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’, formerly known as Cornus stolonifera 'Cardinal', is an upright-spreading, suckering shrub that typically grows in the absence of pruning to 6 to 9’ tall with a slightly larger spread. Native to much of North America, it is typically found growing in wet swampy areas, wetland margins, or along lakes and rivers. Leaves are ovate to lanceolate and a medium to dark green (2 to 5” long) that acquire shades of red to orange eventually fading to purple in autumn. Reddish stems turn bright red in winter and are particularly showy against a snowy backdrop. Tiny, fragrant, white flowers appear in flat-topped clusters (cymes to 2.5” diameter) in late spring, with sparse, intermittent, additional flowering sometimes continuing into summer. Flowers give way to clusters of whitish (sometimes with a bluish tinge) drupes in summer. Fruit is quite attractive to birds and is generally considered to have as much if not more ornamental interest than the flowers. 'Cardinal' is best known for the showy red color of the twigs in winter.