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Red Osier Dogwood - Cornus sericea

Red Osier Dogwood - Cornus sericea

Cornus sericea is also known as Cornus stolonifera, Red Osier Dogwood, and Miskwaabiimizh (red shrub, according to Great Lake Lifeways Institute FB post). Red Osier Dogwood is a clump-foming shrub known for its bright red bark that is particularly striking in the winter against the snow. It is native to Michigan and the UP. Red Osier dogwood is tolerant of dry sites, but prefers wet areas along streams and ponds. Adaptable to many soils, but favors moisture, full sun to light shade.


This is a beautiful plant that handles wet soil like a champ, and is great at protecting shorelines from erosion and ice damage. It has clusters of white flowers in the spring, followed by white berries, and can reach 7 to 9 feet high. The berries are a winter food source for birds and wildlife, and it is a host plant for the Spring Azure butterfly. Spring Azures like to nectar on Pussytoes. Plant some nearby for a great spring display.


We are working on bringing our pesticide-free, UP-sourced plants up to size. In the meantime, we purchased a limited number of shrubs from a downstate nursery. The nursery has reported that, although they verify their stock to be free of Neonicotinoids, they do use pesticides on their nursery stock. We are offering this downstate nursery stock in the interem because using a native plant to landscape instead of a similarly-raised cultivar will ultimately be beneficial, especially for a long-lived shrub. Each gallon pot will contain a 1-2' rooted cutting.

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