Content Detail

Dwarf dogwood, also known as red-tipped dogwood, is a small compact, mounded shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. New leaves emerge purplish-red leaf and leaf tips remain red as the rest of leaf matures to green. In late spring, abundant clusters of slightly fragrant flowers attract butterflies. The mature black fruit are a favorite of birds. Use in a group or as a low hedge.

  • Family (English) dogwood
  • Family (botanic) Cornaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional drought, Occasional flooding
  • Season of interest early fall, early summer, late spring, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Mounded, Round
  • Growth rate Slow

Native geographic location and habitat:

Unknown origin.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Dwarf dogwoods attract butterflies and birds.

Bark color and texture: 

New stems are red and older stems are gray.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Leaf arrangement is opposite, and leaves are 3 inch long ovate with pointed tips that emerge red. Summer color is a shiny dark green.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

In late May and June, an abundant cluster of creamy-white flowers at tips of branches will emerge.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Dwarf dogwoods have shiny, 1/4-inch black fruits.

 

Plant care:

Dwarf dogwoods prefer full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Tolerant of soil pH. It requires very low maintenance, just prune out older stems to promote new growth.

Pests, diseases and tolerances: 

Dwarf dogwoods are relatively disease tolerant, but can develop powdery mildew and leaf spots. This shrub is tolerant of deer.

Donate

Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift