Plant of the Month January 2018

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire

Common name: dogwood 'Midwinter Fire


Deciduous  shrub


Height and spread in 5 years: 2 metres


Aspect: Any in sun or light shade in well-drained to moisture retentive soil.


Care: easy

A deciduous shrub grown for its brightly coloured stems in winter.


Want to find it at Reveley?  Then look in the bark and berry border at the back of the Mulberry tree beds.

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ as its name suggests really comes into its own in winter when it has shed its pale green leaves to reveal brightly coloured orange/red stems.  Even on a dull winter’s day this shrub will lighten any border.  Caught in the rays of late winter sunshine it positively glows.

Plant against a dark evergreen such as Taxus baccata (Yew) or Osmanthus × burkwoodii (Burkwood osmanthus) to allow it to show off its stems.  Or, an island bed with other Cornus varieties and winter shrubs such as Hamamelis (witch hazel) and early spring bulbs for winter interest border.

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ is an easy shrub to care for.  The newest growth has the strongest colour.  To encourage new growth and to keep the shrub in good shape remove between a half and third of the wood every couple of years, pruning back to approximately 50cm from the plant base anytime from late February to April.

Cut stems look good in the house and winter flower arrangements.  Hang a few baubles from the twiggy branches and you have an impromptu and stylish Christmas decoration.

© Reveley Lodge Trust 2019, which is a company limited by guarantee (England 4772191) and a registered charity (1099935).