Elegantissima Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’)
Fragrant white flowers and intense red stems, the Elgantissima Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’) is an ornamental shrub with four-season color and a special winter appeal. Plant several for a flashy winter border, or even just one would be lovely as a specimen planting in your yard. It’s a perfect addition to your yard for bringing a little color to the drab off-season.
Spring brings petite, white flowers that are deliciously fragrant. Adorable berries follow, becoming visible in June, their white hue accented with hints of blue and green. The berries aren’t edible, but your birds will certainly love them, and you’re sure to enjoy their regular forays into your yard for a tasty treat. Your Elegantissima Dogwood’s gray-green leaves are broadly margined with cream or white for a showy variegated presentation that is lovely from spring through fall.
Elgantissima is a type of low-maintenance Red Twig Dogwood that will maintain an elegant, upright habit. Plants that are not pruned eventually reach ten feet tall with an equal spread. Elgantissima adapts well to many different situations and soil types. As if all this isn’t enough, the show continues in fall with leaf colors consisting of apricot, gold, and a pleasing rosy red. Cold-hardy throughout USDA growing zones 3 to 8, these Dogwood shrubs are rugged, beautiful, and adaptable!
Elegantissima is one of those shrubs that light up the landscape! Use this as a low-screening hedge or as a single specimen by your front door. The nice thing about Elegantissima is that it stays naturally compact and becomes the perfect tidy hedge plant. Try growing them naturally without any shearing to keep them in size! It’s not a surprise that these beautiful shrubs are perfectly happy in rich, well-drained garden soil. But they also work well in tough Rain Garden situations.
No matter when you view this pretty shrub, it will knock your socks off all year long. The graceful branches lend an easy symmetry to the form of the shrub. Everyone loves to cut the red stems to use for fall and winter decoration in pots and urns at your front entrance or patio mixed with some Holly or evergreen branches. The red stems are highly ornamental, especially against the snow in the colder areas!
The clean, light summer color will really pop when you use them in front of dark evergreens. This is a perfect way to really put the spotlight on the beautiful red stems in winter. Just picture a group of this elegant Dogwood as a backdrop for your perennial or mixed border. Use them alongside a patio for a bit of privacy with some bright and light colors all summer long. Make those variegated leaves work to brighten up a corner of your landscape or shrub borders!
Your Elegantissima Dogwood will bring year-round interest to your landscape but is especially handsome in winter when its stems transform into a brilliant, bright red! Plus the flowers in the spring attract butterflies and the berries feed a variety of songbirds!
Dogwoods are tolerant of partial shade, however, for redder stems and good fall leaf color, full sun is best. Well-drained soil is preferred. However, once it’s established in your soil, Elgantissima performs well in wet soils and those that remain periodically dry. Ensure it receives a moderate amount of water regularly for best results. Mulch with a layer 3 to 4 inches deep to 3 feet outside of the canopy to ensure the root stays cool in the hot summer. Increase water during dry extreme heat. In fall, prune the beautiful red stems for your Holiday containers or renewal prune your shrub by trimming out only the thick, old stems down to ground level every 3-5 years.
For a fast-growing, hardy shrub that offers 4-season interest with little effort, you can’t beat the Elgantissima Dogwood!
|Common name||Elegantissima Dogwood|
|Botanical name||Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'|
|Height||9 - 10 ft.|
|Width||8 - 10 ft.|
|Sunlight||Full Sun, Partial Shade|
|Soil condition||Widely Adaptable|
|Pruning time||Late Winter|