Cornus serica 'Red Gnome'
Red Twig Dogwood is a shrub Dogwood with rich summer foliage and excellent fall color. If cut to the ground every spring, the one-year-old stems maintain an eye-catching red color during the winter. The showy white panicles of the late-spring flowers turn into an even showier summer fruit. The flowers attract butterflies, and the berry drupe fruit attracts birds. This plant has a stout constitution and will grow in very inhospitable conditions.
If unpruned, Red Twig Dogwood will grow 6'-8' high and wide. An alternative is to maintain as a small shrub of about 4' by coppice pruning. Coppice pruning involves cutting a woody plant to ground level every one to two years. While this eliminates the flower and fruit attributes, the stems will provide a fantastic show in the drab winter landscape, as noted above. The new growth will also appear more rapidly in the spring, giving you a plant with four-season appeal.
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