Dogwoods are typically grown for the colour they provide in winter, when their colourful, leafless stems shine like beacons in the bare winter garden. Cornus alba hails from Siberia, north China and Korea, and is too vigorous for most gardens, but the cultivars are much less vigorous.
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ has deep red stems in winter, and looks especially good planted among evergreen shrubs, with spring bulbs at its base. In spring and summer it has greyish green, white-margined leaves, plus small, creamy-white flowers and clusters of white berries in autumn. It’s tolerant of a wide range of soil types, and produces the brightest winter bark when planted in full sun. For the best show of red stems in autumn and winter, cut them back hard each March.
If left unpruned, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ will grow into a medium sized bushy shrub, but it is easy to restrict growth with regular pruning.