Cornus alba - Tatarian Dogwood
Family: Cornaceae

Hear the scientific name

Cornus alba is a red-stemmed shrub in winter, fast growing and adaptable to wet sites. Tartarian Dogwood cultivars are known for stem color, leaf variegation, or dwarf size.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-medium deciduous shrub

-maturing at 8' tall x 8' wide

-upright rounded growth habit in youth, becoming arching and spreading with age, and sometimes open and straggly

-rapid growth rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-medium to dark green

-opposite, elliptical, and with an acute tip

-main leaf veins parallel to the leaf margins

-autumn color yellowish green to greenish-purple and not showy


-miniature cream flowers are arranged into flat-topped inflorescences, to 2" in diameter

-initially flowering in late May and early June, appearing after full foliage development, and sometimes sporadically flowering in Sept.-Oct.

-often sparsely flowering and therefore not especially showy


-creamy white, sometimes tinged with blue

-terminal clusters of fruits maturing from June through Aug., attracting birds and not persistent


-dark red stems becoming white-streaked to reddish brown with age at the base of the plant

-young twigs are a vibrant red in winter

-leaf scars encircle the stems


-not applicable

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun to partial shade

-adaptable to many conditions, including wet soils, but prefers moist, well-drained soils

-propagated primarily by rooted stem cuttings

-Dogwood Family, with several disease (crown and stem canker, leaf spot) and pest (borer) problems

-abundant availability, primarily in B&B or container form

-performs best when regularly thinned (or pruned to the ground every other year) to promote compactness, upright growth habit, canopy air circulation, and stout new winter red stems

-mulch if transplanted in autumn


-zones 2 to 7


-native to Northeastern Asia

U   S   A   G   E


-rapidly-growing shrub

-striking red winter stems

-wet site tolerant


-diseases and pests, leading to leaf spot, stem dieback, or occasional plant death


-seasonal interest in winter, mass plantings, borders, foundations, embankments, near bodies of water, non-thorny informal hedge


-medium texture in foliage and when bare

-open to average density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs with winter appeal (Chionanthus retusus, Cornus racemosa, Corylus avellana 'Contorta', Hamamelis x intermedia, Myrica pensylvanica, etc.)

-rapidly growing shrubs (Cotinus coggygria, Forsythia x intermedia, Salix pupurea, Weigela florida, etc.)

-wet site tolerant shrubs (Cornus racemosa, Hamamelis vernalis, Lindera benzoin, Salix purpurea, etc.)


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