Orange Dogwood Hedging – Cornus Sanguinea
Cornus sanguinea, often referred to as Orange Dogwood or Common Dogwood, is a robust, deciduous shrub that originates from Europe. This variety of dogwood is particularly appreciated for its colourful autumn and winter stems, contributing to the aesthetic appeal and biodiversity of gardens across Britain.
Description and Characteristics
Cornus sanguinea displays lush, dark green leaves throughout spring and summer, which in autumn transform into a gorgeous mix of reds, purples and oranges. Its vibrant, orange-red to purple winter stems are a remarkable feature that stand out vividly in the winter landscape.
As a hedging plant, Orange Dogwood typically achieves a height of 2-3 metres (6-10 feet), while unpruned specimens can reach up to 4-5 metres (13-16 feet). It boasts a moderate to fast growth rate of about 40-60cm (15-24 inches) per year, and the lifespan of Cornus sanguinea, when properly maintained, can easily span several decades.
Flowering, Berries, and Reproduction
Orange Dogwood blooms in late spring, bearing small, cream-white flowers in clusters that attract a range of pollinators. By late summer to early autumn, these flowers yield to clusters of blackish berries (drupes), each of which encases a single seed. The berries are a hit with many bird species, which eat them and consequently help disperse the seeds.
Benefits to Wildlife
Cornus sanguinea has a lot to offer local wildlife. In addition to the nectar-rich flowers and nutritious berries, the shrub’s dense foliage offers an ideal habitat for birds and small mammals, providing both shelter and nesting opportunities.
Ideal for British Gardens
Orange Dogwood hedging is an excellent addition to British gardens, particularly those aiming for year-round interest. The autumn leaf colour and brightly coloured winter stems add visual appeal during seasons when colour can be sparse. Moreover, the plant is hardy, tolerating a variety of soil types, including chalky and clay soils, and coping well in both full sun and partial shade.
The Orange Dogwood is also a boon for wildlife-friendly gardens, attracting pollinators with its flowers and providing food and shelter for birds and mammals. Its dense growth habit also makes it an effective privacy screen or windbreak.
Distribution in the UK
While not native to the UK, Orange Dogwood has been widely cultivated and can be commonly found in many parks, gardens, and open spaces across the country.
In conclusion, the Orange Dogwood, with its stunning seasonal colour, wildlife benefits, and hardy nature, is a fantastic option for a range of British garden designs. Whether you’re creating a wildlife haven, seeking year-round colour, or need a resilient hedging plant, Cornus sanguinea is worth considering.