Cornus sericea 'Budd's Yellow'
Common Name: yellowtwig dogwood
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Cornaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellowish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Wet Soil

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils. Prefers consistently moist, well-drained soils. Trim roots with a spade and promptly remove root suckers if colonial spread is undesired. Best yellow stem color occurs on young stems. Although pruning is not required, many gardeners choose to remove 20-25% of the oldest stems in early spring of each year to stimulate growth of new stems which will display the best yellow color. As an alternative to annual pruning, some gardeners prune all stems close to the ground in early spring every 2-3 years to renew. Any loss of flowers through spring pruning is not terribly significant since the small flowers of this dogwood are rather ordinary. Plants become stressed and more vulnerable to diseases such as canker in hot summer climates south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cornus sericea, commonly known as red twig dogwood or red osier dogwood, is an upright-spreading, suckering shrub that typically grows in the absence of pruning to 6-9’ tall with a slightly larger spread. With the exception of the lower midwest and deep South, this species is native to much of North America where it is typically found growing in wet swampy areas, wetland margins or along lakes and rivers. Ovate to lanceolate, medium to dark green leaves (2-5” long) acquire interesting shades of red to orange eventually fading to purple in autumn. Reddish stems turn bright red in winter and are particularly showy against a snowy backdrop. Tiny, fragrant, white flowers appear in flat-topped clusters (cymes to 2.5” diameter) in late spring, with sparse, intermittent, additional flowering sometimes continuing into summer. Flowers give way to clusters of whitish (sometimes with a bluish tinge) drupes in summer. Fruit is quite attractive to birds and is generally considered to have as much if not more ornamental interest than the flowers.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Cornus stolonifera.

Red stems somewhat resemble the reddish stems of some osier willows, hence the common name of red osier dogwood. Some cultivars of this species (e.g., C. sericea 'Flaviramia') have yellow stems.

'Budd's Yellow' is a yellowtwig dogwood cultivar that is noted for its bright yellow twigs in winter. It is a rapid-growing, multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub that grows to a maximum size of 5-8' tall on erect, usually unbranched stems. The outstanding ornamental features of this cultivar are: (1) bright yellow winter stems which are particularly showy against a snowy backdrop and (2) disease-resistant, ovate to elliptic, medium/dark green leaves (to 4.5" long).

Problems

Susceptible to leaf spot, twig and leaf blights and canker. Scale, leaf miner and borers are occasional insect pests. 'Budd's Yellow' reportedly has good resistance to canker and stem dieback.

Garden Uses

Naturalistic plantings in moist soils where plants are allowed to spread and form thickets. Property line screens. Hedges. Shrub borders. For an interesting bicolor winter stem display, combine with redtwig cultivars.