red-twig dogwood for bright colored fall trees and shrubs
Photo: Jonathan Need/Alamy
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Red-Twig Dogwood

(Cornus spp.)

Gardeners grow red-twig dogwoods mostly for the color of the stems once the leaves drop. But the leaves of most varieties also turn brilliant red or reddish purple before they fall. For the reddest stems, look for 'Arctic Fire' (C. stolinifera), which grows 3 to 4 feet tall, and 'Baileyi' (C. sericea), which is twice as big. Yellow-twig dogwoods, such as 'Flaviramea' (C. sericea), also have reddish-purple leaves in fall. Red-twig dogwoods with variegated foliage vary in fall color. All types have clusters of white flowers in spring and white to red-purple fruit that birds enjoy.

Full sun to partial shade; regular water; Zones 2-9

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