Habit: grows in an upright rounded form, spreads easily through vegetative reproduction, creating large thickets. Stems are bright red throughout the winter turning to green when the leaves emerge. Leaves are oval with deeply indented veination and turn red-purple in the fall. Flowers appear in early summer in flat showy clusters with individual flowers creamy white and tiny. Berry-like fruit ripens from white to pale blue.
Ecology: occuring across most of North America in low meadows, riparian zones, along forest margins, and within open woods, as part of the understory.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, in moist soil with medium to poor drainage. Tolerates seasonal flooding.
Can be planted for habitat improvement, windbreaks, and erosion control. Red twig dogwood is an important browse for large mammals, while smaller mammals and birds use the fruit as a food source. Also used as basket weaving material.