Cornus alba ‘Kesselringii’
CORNACEAE, The Dogwood family
Also called Tartarian dogwood
It’s been a while since I’ve seen something so new and wonderful at the garden center. My first thought when I saw the nearly black stems was ‘Arrangements!’. My next thought, ‘Must have it!’ was followed by the increasingly frequent ‘And where will I put it?’
The gorgeous, straight, nearly glossy stems will be dramatic in arrangements. In the landscape, it’s a good wildlife plant with white flowers and white berries, and is supposed to have beautiful purple-burgundy fall color too. I found a place for it near the English walnut where a tough but showy focal point was needed. There will be a variety of unusual bulbs around it, a dark-leaved cape fuchsia and purple acaena as a ground cover.
The species name ‘alba’ refers to the white fruit.
Functions: Bird, bee, butterfly food – nectar and berries. Cut twigs for arrangements. Basketry.
Landscape uses: Great in rain gardens, mixed hedge borders, mass plantings.
Size: 6′ x 6′ or a bit bigger
Needs:Grow like red twigged dogwood, in average to seasonally moist soil. To keep good color on the stems and maintain a neat form, prune to a natural shape by removing 1/4 of the stems at the ground each year in early spring.
Zones: 3 to 9