Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'
Variegated Redtwig Dogwood
 
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Family: Dogwood Family (Cornaceae)
Native Habitat: Eastern U.S. and Canada

 

'Elegantissima' is elegant indeed and is one of the few deciduous flowering shrubs that is highly ornamental year-round. In spring the bright variegated foliage emerges and is followed in May by the 2", yellowish, flat-toped flower clusters. The flowers are a nice addition but certainly not of the quality of other dogwood such as Flowering Dogwood. The bold variegated foliage, with broad irregular margins of creamy-white, is attractive spring, summer, and well into fall.

During the growing season the stems are greenish with just a hint of red. As cold weather arrives in late fall they begin to take on a bright red color. By the time the leaves have dropped, the stems are bright red and when planted in mass the effect is really quite extraordinary.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Bright variegated foliage with irregular creamy-white margins and grayish centers. Yellowish 2" bloom clusters in May. Bright red winter stems.
Habit & Growth Rate:
Fast growing to 5 or 6 ft. tall.
Landscape Uses:
Shrub border. Masses. Foundation planting if kept pruned.
Hardiness:
Zone 3 to 7.
Culture:
Full sun to medium shade. Average to moist garden soil. Looks best with yearly pruning and shaping.
Awards:
Award of Garden Merit, Royal Horticultural Society