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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'
VARIEGATED REDTWIG DOGWOOD
Pronounced: KOR-nus AL-bah
Sunset zones: 1-9, 14-24.
USDA: zones 2-8.
Height: 10 feet (3 m).
Width: 10 feet (3 m).
Late spring to early summer.
Small, fragrant, white flowers in flat cymes tend to get lost in the leaves.
Gray-green leaves broadly margined with cream or white on burgundy red stems.
Moist, fertile, humus rich, well-drained to soggy soils.
Hardwood cuttings January-March.
In winter, coppice every third year for all new red stems, or remove older stems to the ground, yearly; but not more than one-third of the shrub when pruning annually.
Rainy Side Notes
Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' brings year round interest to the landscape but is especially handsome in winter when its stems turn bright red. In spring, the variegated leaves take over the show until fall. Around May it will flower and continue to flower sporadically during summer. The berries follow around June and July. The beautiful berries are white with tints of blue and green.
This shrub adapts well too many different situations and soil types. However, for redder stems and good fall leaf color full sun is best. Fall leaf colors consist of apricot, gold and rosey-red. Pruned plants will stay around 6 feet tall and have an upright habit. Plants that are not pruned eventually reach ten feet tall by ten feet wide.
Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' is a 2005 Great Plant Pick.
Photographed in author's garden.