Description & Overview

Firedance™ Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey’s Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay small but also to have a much more rounded and uniform habit than its native heritage. This tough, adaptable shrub has multi-season interest and is a great choice for many landscapes.

Core Characteristics

Category: Shrub

Wisconsin Native: No - Variety of North American Native

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 2

Mature Height: 3-4 feet

Mature Spread: 4-5 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Compact, mounded

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Site Requirements: Adaptable to a wide spectrum of conditions. Thrives in full sun & moist soils.

Flower: Small, white, in flat-topped clusters

Bloom Period: May

Foliage: Dark green

Fall Color: Reddish-purple

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: Minute white berry ripening in late summer-early fall

Suggested Uses

Thanks to Firedance™ Dogwood’s amazing adaptability, its usage is wide. This multi-stemmed, compact deciduous shrub has an impressive resume. It is tolerant of drought, seasonal flooding isn’t picky about soil texture or pH, and is highly tolerant of urban pollution. This plant could be used in a rain garden, on a slope for erosion control, mass plantings, as a short hedge/screen, in woodland gardens, or even as an urban planting. Come winter, its bright red branches are extremely showy and stand out against the snow.

Firedance Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey's Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay sm…
Firedance Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey's Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay sm…

Wildlife Value

Firedance™ Dogwood supports wildlife, birds, and pollinators with flat-topped clusters of tiny, white flowers. Blooming in May, long-tongued and short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, and beetles feast on pollen and nectar. Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) and Pear Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) butterflies also visit throughout the season. Once the flowers are spent, small white berries form, ripening in late summer to early fall. The berries, high in calcium and fat, are a favorite among birds such as Northern Cardinals, Cedar Waxwings, and Downy, Hairy, Pileated and Red-Bellied woodpeckers. The berries also help sustain foraging critters including chipmunks, cottontails, and squirrels.

Maintenance Tips

In general, Firedance™ Dogwood easy-going but may require occasional upkeep. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring while the plant is dormant. It is recommended to prune off the oldest canes to ground level annually or biannually. Be sure to keep the younger stems! Use the Thinning Cuts Method of Pruning.

Gardeners who implement Firedance™ Dogwood in their landscapes should be aware of its suckering habit. Suckers may be removed if controlling its spread is desired.

Firedance Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey's Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay sm…
Firedance Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey's Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay sm…

Pests/Problems

The dark green foliage of the Firedance™ Dogwood was bred to have a higher disease resistance than the straight species, Cornus sericea. Leaf spot, powdery mildew, and leaf blight do not affect Firedance™ Dogwood. Leaf miners and bagworms are occasional insect pests, but rarely cause enough damage to warrant a pest management strategy.

Leaf Lore

The genus name Cornus comes from the Latin word ‘cornu’ which means “horn”. This likely refers to the strength and density of the wood. The specific epithet sericea means “silky,” in reference to the tiny hairs present on young shoots and on the upper leaf surface.

Companion Plants

Firedance™ Dogwood pairs well with many plants. Its average texture looks good on its own; however, you can balance your design by using it near trees or shrubs with a more fine or more coarse texture.

Plants with more coarse textures include:

Plants with more coarse textures include:

Firedance Dogwood is a compact, dwarf nativar of Cornus sericea, the Redosier Dogwood. This Bailey's Nursery introduction was bred to not only stay sm…
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Written by Miles Minter