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Red osier dogwood
Characteristics: Deciduous shrub 1.5–4 m spread 3–5 m wide
Seeds per packet: 12
Dark green opposite leaves turning a dull red, purple-red, or orange in autumn. Clusters of white flowers appear in late spring to early summer, followed by white to pale blue fruit.
Green stems turn reddish or purple-red from late summer into early autumn, becoming brighter in winter. Removing older stems produces vigorous new shoots with vivid colours.
Native range extends over much of North America, except southeastern and lower mid-western states.
Prefers moist soil but adapts to a range of soils and locations. Tolerates wet soils.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C (68-71°F) for this species.
Cold stratification is recommended.
Cold treatment may not be critical for germination to occur in colder regions but should give increased germination rates.
This can be replicated by cold stratification in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. Alternatively over wintering in the garden in cold climates will assist germination.
General note: Seeds of many plant species are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.