One of several Cornus which are grown for their colourful stems, Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire is best grown in an open aspect where the sun can highlight the lovely Winter colour. It is quite happy in a semi shaded position, but it is the sun - or at least 'light' - that accentuates the colour in the winter.
Flaming effect of Midwinter Fire
The bark is coloured from leaf fall right through until early Spring. The name Midwinter Fire, suits this Cornus down to the ground.
To get the maximum effect with the Dogwoods as with Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire, they need to be cut back to almost ground level in March/early April each year. If this is not done, then the stems will gradually lose their vibrant colour as they age.
Whatever the weather - anything! - and this will still be the blaze of colour that is rightly described by it's name - Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'. Not sure if it will warm you physically, but should do mentally at least!
Dogwoods are of course grown for their bark rather than bite! (Sorry - could not resist that!). This one has the advantage of having very good autumn leaf colour as well - buy 1 get 1 free.
Easy to grow, and just make sure that it will catch the low winter sun, and you will have a blaze of colour in that part of the garden. You can also grow it in a large container, and move it to centre patio for the winter!
Not all Dogwoods have colourful bark. Many are grown for the flowers which can be any shade from white throug to very deep pink. The differences are explained on our main Dogwood - Cornus - page.
The new stems have the best colour. Alternatively, you can build up a framework of branches lower down, and prune back to that framework. This way you will get a bit of added height if you want to under plant the cornus.
Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire is good against a dark background, planted with other Cornus ie, Cornus alba Sibirica (Red stems) and Cornus flaviramea Stolonifera (Light green stems). There are several Dogwoods with brightly variegated leaves. C Elegantissima is one of the better ones, but the stem colours are not quite as good as the three suggested above.
Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire is suited to any soil, but will do particularly well in damp areas.