|'Midwinter Fire' - Flickr.com, m o n t s|
Found growing through much of Europe, from Britain to Scandinavia, down to Spain and east into Greece it has adapted well to live outside of its natural range. However, just like the Tartarian and Redosier dogwoods, the blood twig will too languish if grown in too hot of a zone. It will appreciate moisture, especially during periods of drought but once established is fairly tolerant of the occasional hardship.
|The Winter Walk, Anglesey Abbey, UK - Flickr.com, Green_blade|
'Arctic Sun' is the newest member of the blood twig family. Hailing from a famed breeder of dogwoods, Andre van Nijnatten in the Netherlands. This dwarf form only reaches 3 to 4 ft, half of what they can normally reach. Breeding hasn't changed any of the characteristics that we have come to love, but the breakthrough in size means it has more appeal for use in the smaller garden. In fact, I have this planted in my garden and its appearance is unparalleled in the winter landscape. This coming spring I will need to whack it back in order for it to fill it out better, a job that will cause anguish I'm sure, but will definitely payoff for next winter.
'Midwinter Fire' has been the old standard since it was released. Originally discovered in a German garden in 1980, this selection showed an overall improved color than the species. It was only until the 1990's that it finally earned its name and made it into mainstream cultivation. Be warned, this variety can reach 8-10 ft, but with stooling, a process of cutting the stems down to the ground to induce new growth, in early spring before the new growth emerges, its height can be controlled.
|Mass planting for best show - Flickr.com, le_sloth|
|Bloodtwig fall colors - Flickr.com, Tower Hill Botanic Garden|
Jumped into the conversation late? Check out Part One on Tatarian Dogwoods and Part Two on Red Osier Dogwoods. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!