Native Shrubs: Cornus for Your Enchanting Garden

green cornus shrubs in front yard garden
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Native Shrubs: Cornus for Your Enchanting Garden

Dogwoods Deliver Warm Colors in Cold Seasons

What makes this pair of remarkable Arctic dogwood shrub cultivars from Proven Winners even more special? They’re carefully selected for their neat and more compact habit – great for patio containers, borders, and winter focal points in smaller gardens. Cornus Arctic Sun® and Cornus Arctic Fire® from Proven Winners reach 3- to 5-feet in height and width.

Dogwood shrubs are well-known for their dynamic, year-round pageantry in the garden and landscape, and these compact varieties keep up that beautiful tradition. The neat shrub unfurls deeply veined, attractive leaves that are a lively, light to medium green through summer but there’s so much more to these low maintenance, cold hardy native dogwood shrubs.

cornus arctic fire in wintercornus arctic fire in winter

Cornus Arctic Fire®

In late spring red twig Arctic Fire dogwood from Proven Winners will develop a profusion of delightful white flower clusters that are followed in late summer by charming white berries. Its final foliage encore is the reddish-purple hue the leaves display before shedding its foliage in fall. Another feature of this popular new variety? More fire-red stems for bright winter interest. A true year-round beauty with so much variation in each season you might even call it a seasonal garden shapeshifter. Cold hardy to Zone 2.

To maintain the colorful red twig display, you can cut out one-third of the oldest stems every year. Early spring is the best time to prune.

Arctic Fire compact red twig dogwood: green foliage, white flowers, white berries, reddish-purple fall leaves, brilliant red stems through winter.

cornus arctic sun in wintercornus arctic sun in winter

Cornus Arctic Sun®

Arctic Sun dogwood from Proven Winners maintains the manageable growth habit of its Arctic Fire cousin. It’s also symbiotic in the beautiful green flush of leaves in spring. The vivid white flower clusters of Arctic Sun are followed by richly colored, dark purple berries until autumn. The leaves of Arctic Sun then turn golden before falling, but that's not the end of this ever-changing beauty. In the gray months of winter, the bright yellow stems gleam in the barren landscape. Cold hardy to Zone 4.

To maintain the colorful yellow twig display, you can cut out one-third of the oldest stems every year. Early spring is the best time to prune.

Arctic Sun compact yellow twig dogwood: green foliage, white flowers, dark purple berries, golden fall foliage, sunshine yellow stems throughout winter.


Native to the United States, these flowering shrubs invite pollinators and the berries beckon songbirds to your garden. Use yellow twig Arctic Sun and red twig Arctic Fire dogwood as a low hedge, in the border, or as a mass planting. Watching its colors change every season is breathtaking and will bring your landscape to life in any season. Here’s how these two Cornus varieties show off their next level, year-round beauty:

  • Flower – late spring to early summer
  • Foliage – mid-autumn
  • Stem color/form – late fall to early spring

Low growing, these compact dogwoods are highly adaptable and much more tolerant of limey soils than other dogwoods. Cold hardy, Cornus Arctic Sun is recommended for Zones 4 to 7 and Arctic Fire, Zones 2 to 7. They are also easy to transplant and establish in the garden, needing minimal maintenance other than an annual trim of its showy stems to maintain your desired shape. Your porch, patio, garden, and landscape will light up with the lively spires of color in your winter landscape.