Send Red Rover Right Over!
Cornus obliqua, or silky dogwood, is a native species of Cornus that thrives in damp sites. Another common name for it is swamp dogwood, but that makes me think of mosquitoes and snakes so I'm sticking with silky dogwood.
While the species may reach 12' in height, Red Rover® Cornus is a compact selection that stays around 5' tall. That makes it a better fit for most landscapes. It has clean green foliage that turns wine red in fall. Blue fall fruit adds to its autumn appeal.
Hardy to USDA Zone 4, it will grow in full sun or partial shade. Give this plant a try in rain gardens or near streams and ponds.
Going to the dogs.
There was a sporting event last weekend. You may have heard something about a big comeback (or epic meltdown, depending on your point of view.) Maybe the end of the football season has you feeling a little...deflated. Fear not, there's another big showdown coming this weekend: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show! With all due respect to NFL players, these athletes are cuter.
As a cat person, I would argue with the dog's claim to be man's best friend. But I do think that dogwoods have a strong case to be the gardener's loyal ally. Various species give us stunning flowers, dramatic fruit, and much needed color in the winter landscape.
Our native silky dogwood is a workhorse breed that thrives in soggy sites that may challenge other plants. Think of it like a water spaniel, or a fishing cat. The flowers support our pollinator populations, and songbirds love the fruit. This is a great plant for the gardener who wants to incorporate a little bit of wilderness into the landscape.
Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles