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Shrubs with Attractive Bark, Form and Thorns

Increase your landscape’s year-round beauty with shrubs that have eye-catching bark.

Red twig (Cornus), also known as redoiser, dogwoods have long been grown for their brilliant red stems that brighten the winter landscape. Try a few of the newer varieties that feature unique red and yellow stems like Midwinter Fire (Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’) or more compact cultivars like Pucker Up! (Cornus sericea ‘Pucker Up’).

The peeling bark of ninebark (Physocarpus) is striking against the winter sky. And the many new introductions have colorful foliage, extending their beauty throughout the growing season.

Or add a twist to the garden with Harry Lauder’s Walking stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’).  The contorted branches of this European filbert add interest to the garden and flower arrangements.

The red winged thorns of Wingthorn rose (Rosa sericea ptericantha) will help you appreciate this plants’ prickliest feature.  The new growth features the best color, but the unique thorns add interest to the garden year-round.

A bit more information:  Cardinal red twig dogwood grows 8 to 10 feet tall and wide, is resistant to leaf spot disease and has cherry red stems. Brighten the landscape with yellow twig dogwoods such as Bud’s Yellow that is more resistant to canker or Silver and Gold with variegated leaves and yellow stems.

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