Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is almost done building a new website! Please take a sneak peek or read about our redesign process.

Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Trees and Shrubs > Cardinal dogwood

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Cardinal dogwood

Harold Pellett, Susan Moe and Ken Vogel

Closeup of red cardinal dogwood branches

Cardinal dogwood is a new hybrid selection of Redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea) bred for its bright red winter twig color. In late fall the twigs and stems develop a bright cherry red color which lasts until spring when the plant leafs out.

Cardinal is well adapted for Minnesota as it was developed by crossing plants native to the vicinity of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Cardinal will mature at an average height and spread of 8 to 10 feet.

Cardinal is tolerant of poorly drained soils permitting its use in wet sites where other woody plants would fail. Dogwoods can be grown in full sun or partial shade.

Cardinal dogwood is recommended for corner plantings, mass plantings, or background screens where its bright red stem color will provide interest in the winter landscape.

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy