Cornus alba

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Cornus alba
Cornus alba a2.jpg
Leaves and flowers.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus
Subgenus: Cornus subg. Kraniopsis
C. alba
Binomial name
Cornus alba

Cornus alba (red-barked, white or Siberian dogwood) is a species of flowering plant in the family Cornaceae, native to Siberia, northern China and Korea. It is a large deciduous surculose (suckering) shrub that can be grown as a small tree. As a popular ornamental used in landscaping its notable features include the red stems in fall (autumn) through late winter, the brightest winter bark of any cornus;[1] and the variegated foliage in some cultivars, such as C. alba 'Elegantissima', in which the discreet flat whitish flower clusters are almost lost in the variegated texture and dappled light. C. alba can grow to 3 m (10 ft) high, but variegated forms are less vigorous. For the brightest winter bark, young shoots are encouraged by cutting to the ground some older stems at the end of the winter, before leaves are open. The oval fruits are white, sometimes tinted blue.[2]

The plant is extremely hardy, to USDA Zone 3 - −40 °C (−40 °F).

The Latin specific epithet alba means “white”.[3]

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017):-[4]

  • 'Aurea'[5] (yellow leaves)
  • 'Elegantissima'[6] (deep red stems and small white flowers)
  • 'Sibirica'[7] (2.5 m (8 ft 2 in), brilliant red stems, cream flowers)
  • 'Spaethii'[8] (variegated leaves with yellow margins)



  1. ^ Donald Wyman, Wyman's Garden Encyclopedia, s.v." Cornus alba 'Sibirica' ".
  2. ^ Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 306. ISBN 9781405332965.
  3. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cornus alba 'Aurea'". Retrieved 16 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'". Retrieved 16 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cornus alba 'Sibirica'". Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cornus alba 'Spaethii'". Retrieved 16 June 2013.[permanent dead link]