The shrub red twig dogwood is at its best in winter, with flaming red stems that are beautiful against drab skies. Prune it annually and remove suckers.
Sun or shade
Plant en masse
Blazing bark in winter
Red Twig Dogwood: A Field Guide
Though it boasts four-season interest—with fragrant flowers, tiny berries and showy foliage—the red twig dogwood saves its best for winter, when its stems are on fire.
A typical understory plant in forests and woodlands, Cornus sericea thrills with flaming red or yellow twigs. (The yellow variety will be a smaller plant.) Beware that with age red twig dogwood’s brightness will fade, so smart pruning is in order. Either cut it down to the ground every several years, which will sacrifice its flowers, or remove a quarter of its stems each year. Keep an eye out for suckers. Looks beautiful against snow and drab winter skies.