Dogwoods are a lovely group of deciduous shrubs, many have attractive variegated foliage as illustrated left above. In addition, the leaves turn a stunning red in autumn as shown in the centre image, and some varieties have colourful bracts and stems providing strong winter colour. There are about 45 species in the genus, just a few illustrated are here.
Those grown for their colourful winter stems throughout the winter look fabulous planted as a group. Most popular is the Cornus alba 'Sibirica' illustrated right which has strong red stems and good autumn colour. Also Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' which has orange stems and Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea' with yellow stems.
This group of Cornus will grow in moist soil and look good alongside a stream. For best effect in the winter to display the red stems, plant Cornus where they will be back lit by the low winter sun, or the sun will strike the red stems.
Cornus is easy to grow shrub with a preference for sun to produce the best colour, but tolerant of most conditions. Cornus will thrive in damp soil which makes it an ideal shrub for planting streamside or alongside a pond in damp soil.