Cornus Red Twig Dogwood

Redtwig Dogwoods are at their best in winter after leaves have fallen and frosts have set in - this is when brightly colored decorative bark begins to glow. Branches vary in color from dark maroon to coral to yellow depending on species and cultivar.


Most have green leaves, but some varieties have bi-colored or multicolored leaves, which can really brighten up shady corners. Small white summer flowers occur in clusters and white or blue berries follow.

Typical redtwigs grow fast to 8-12’ tall and wide with dense branching and foliage, and some spread under ground forming multi-stemmed thickets. There are many lower-growing and better behaved forms available though. All varieties are tough, adapting to many different soils and light conditions and withstanding temperatures as low as -50 degrees. 

Twig Dogwood Varieties

Portland Nursery carries many types of Twig Dogwoods - here are some of our favorites:

Tatarian Dogwoods: Cornus alba


Cornus alba ‘Argenteo-Marginata’

Leaves are green with white edges, branches are dark red. This is also sold as 'Elegantissima'.

Grows 6-8’ x 6-8’.


Cornus alba ‘Hessei’

Really neat deep green crinkled leaves are stacked on stiff upright branches.

Fall color is dark purple, almost black, and winter twigs are dark purple.

Grows 4’ x 4’.

cornus-alba-Ivory Halo

Cornus alba ‘Ivory Halo’

Green leaves with white edges and dark red winter branches.

Smaller than ‘Argenteo-Marginata’, 5-6’.

Cornus alba ‘Prairie Fire’

Bright gold and chartreuse leaves spring and summer, turn red in autumn. Branches are dark red. Grows 7’ x 7’.

Bloodtwig Dogwoods — Cornus sanguinea


Cornus sanguinea ‘Arctic Sun’

Lime green leaves turn gold and peach in fall. Branches are gold with coral blush in winter.

Grows 3-4’ x 3-4’.


Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’

Looks like a fire in winter — gold branches in the center radiate to burning red tips.

Leaves are bright green, turning gold and orange in fall.

Grows 5-6’.

Cornus sericea leaves and inflorescence 2003-08-11

Redtwig or Osier Dogwoods
Cornus sericea or Cornus stolonifera

The species Cornus serica is native to Oregon and is an excellent addition to gardens when space is available. Read more about our native Twig Dogwood here.

Cornus sericea ‘Bailey’

Dark green leaves turn red and purple before falling in autumn. Winter branches are deep purple. Growth is upright and vigorous, but ‘Bailey’ suckers less than the species.

Grows 8-10’ x 8-10’.

Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’

Dark green leaves with nice fall color. Winter branches are bright coral pink, much brighter than most C. sericeas. Grows 6-8’.


Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’

Solid green leaves turn gold in autumn. Branches are lime green in summer and turn gold when winter chills.

Grows 8-9’.

Cornus sericea ‘Isanti’

Green leaves turn red and purple in fall, branches are dark red. Nice mid-size selection, grows 5-6’.


Cornus sericea ‘Kelsei’

Very slender branches turn red and purple in winter. Green leaves turn red in fall.

Dwarf selection, reliably growing only 2’ x 2’.

cornus-sericea Silver and Gold
Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’

Yellow-twig variety with white and gold leaves. Grows 6-8’ x 8-10'.