Cornus sericea,  Cornus. stolonifera, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood berries, flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Scary Berries – Red Osier Dogwood

Cornus sericea,  Cornus. stolonifera, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood berries, flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Until recently I hadn’t seen the freaky eyeball berries of the Red Osier Dogwood even though I’d planted the shrub in our garden several years ago.

Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There are several reasons why I’d planted Cornus sericea in our garden:

  • It’s native to Canada & flourishes around BC, so I figured it would survive well & be low maintenance.
  • Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    The flowers attract local pollinators.

  • The berries are a food source for many songbirds.
  • The dense vegetation provides wildlife shelter.
  • Red Osier Dogwood provides garden interest through all 4 seasons:
    Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins
  1. Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Flat-topped, white clumps of small flowers emerge in spring.

  2. Those flowers morph into panicles of white berries in summer & persist well into winter.
  3. The green leaves have the distinct parallel veins that make the shrub noticeable from other background shrubs in summer, but it’s the reds of fall foliage that’s even more eye-catching.
  4. Red Osier Dogwood’s ornamental fame is based on the vibrant red bark of young stems – so decorative in winter when deciduous shrubs are bare & the world seems grey.

This is all true.
But there were 2 attributes I soon discovered for myself.

  1. Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Red Osier Dogwoods survive drier sites but prefer lakesides & wet ditches.  It’s happier with more moisture than our garden gets through long, dry summers.

  2. Deer.
    Deer enjoy the foliage & the flowers.  Unfortunately, they’re too greedy to ever let the specimen in our garden prosper – much less ever go into berry.

I finally gave up & dug out the struggling shrub.

Cornus sericea,  C. stolonifera, C.  alba, C. occidentalis, Swida sericea, red osier dogwood, red-osier dogwood, red willow, red stem dogwood, red twig dogwood, red-rood, creek dogwood, western dogwood, American dogwood, white berries, white flowers, white berry, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Now I enjoy sightings of Red Osier Dogwood in the wild – where the deer population is not as condensed.

At this time of year, when I’m out hiking, the freaky eyeball berries remind me the spooky season is upon us & trick-or-treaters will be coming to our door.

-30-

bunchberry, Cornus canadensis, dwarf dogwood,, creeping dogwood, dwarf cornel, crackerberry, native wildflower, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Another dogwood that I admire:
Creeping Dogwood
aka
Bunchberry
(Cornus Canadensis)
– – a groundcover,
rather than a shrub
🙂

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Scary Berries – Red Osier Dogwood”

  1. I love the red branches in the winter.
    I hope you are receiving some money for the ads. One was in support of pipeline.

    >
    >
    > Lorraine Scollan
    > Videographer/Editor/Producer
    > 1-250-588-3980 | L.scollan@shaw.ca
    >
    >

    >

    1. Thanks for the head’s up Lorraine – – the blog site is a free version, so I don’t have any control of ads. Perhaps this is reason enough to pay for the domain

Comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.