Cornus alba sibirica (Coral Bark Dogwood) is a deciduous shrub that is native to eastern Siberia, northern China, and Korea. It is primarily cultivated for its vibrant red stems, which provide winter interest in the landscape.
Appearance: Coral Bark Dogwood is a medium-sized shrub that typically reaches a height of 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet) and has a similar spread. It has an upright, spreading habit with multiple stems. The most distinctive feature of this cultivar is its bright red stems, which are most prominent in winter when the leaves have fallen. The leaves are oval-shaped, dark green, and turn purplish-red in the fall.
Winter Interest: The vivid red stems of Coral Bark Dogwood create a stunning display in winter, providing a vibrant contrast against a snowy backdrop or the dormant landscape. This feature makes it a popular choice for adding color and visual interest during the colder months.
Flowers and Fruit: In late spring to early summer, Coral Bark Dogwood produces small clusters of white flowers. While the flowers are not the main ornamental feature of this cultivar, they add a delicate touch to the shrub. Following the flowers, small white berries may develop, which can attract birds.
Sun and Soil Requirements: Coral Bark Dogwood prefers full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types but prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is relatively adaptable and can thrive in both wet and dry conditions.
Pruning: Pruning is generally done in early spring, before new growth emerges. This shrub benefits from regular pruning to encourage the growth of new, vibrant stems. Removing older, less colorful stems can help maintain the plant's overall appearance.
Wildlife Value: The flowers and fruit of Coral Bark Dogwood can attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. The berries also provide a food source for birds, enhancing its wildlife value.
Overall, Cornus alba 'Sibirica' is a popular ornamental shrub prized for its vibrant red stems and winter interest. It is relatively low-maintenance and can add a splash of color to the landscape, particularly during the colder months.