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The native dogwood Cornus sanguine, which has red and yellow stems, brings welcome colour to a winter garden, as does the red-stemmed C. alba.

Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' has variegated leaves that will brighten up the shrub border in summer. Cornus mas and C. racemosa are others to look out for.

You will need to cut the stems of dogwoods back hard every other year in early spring to promote autumn colour and stop them from growing too large.

If you have room, grow them alongside our native silver birch, Betula pendula, for a great colour combination.

Animals that benefit

  • Robins and mistle thrushes will eat the clusters of berries 

Vital statistics

Native: Yes
Flowers: Various
Fruits: Bunches of small, round black berries, turning glossy as they ripen in August and September


Not seen in JanuaryNot seen in FebruaryNot seen in MarchNot seen in AprilSeen in MaySeen in JuneSeen in JulySeen in AugustSeen in SeptemberNot seen in OctoberNot seen in NovemberNot seen in December

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