Two years ago, on February 21, 2013, the local red osier dogwood (or, depending on your information source and spell checker, redosier or red-osier dogwood) looked like this. From what I read, the bright red color is on new growth. I've always thought that the brighter color was a sign of Spring's longer and sometimes warmer days.
redosier dogwood in color
Photo by J. Harrington
I'm betting that this year, there will be little, if any, bright red color. Tomorrow I'll go get a photo of the same bushes shown above and see if I'm right. I'll post tomorrow's photo here. Our friends at Eloise Butler have this to say:
"The "red" refers to the color of the bark of branches, stems and twigs in fall, winter and spring; more greenish-red in summer."
The USDA plant guide list a fascinating variety of uses Native Americans had for this plans and notes that:
"The bark and twigs are reddish to purple and fairly smooth from autumn to late spring; after the leaves have fallen, the deep burgundy branches add color to the winter landscape. The bark, twigs, and leaves are bright green in spring through summer."I'm wondering if my "knowledge" of redosier dogwood qualifies me as a member of the club of folks described by C. Kettering (also attributed to M. Twain among others) as "It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so."
Planting a Dogwood
Tree, we take leave of you; you’re on your own.Put down your taproot with its probing hairsthat sluice the darkness and create unseenthe tree that mirrors you below the ground.For when we plant a tree, two trees take root:the one that lifts its leaves into the air,and the inverted one that cleaves the soilto find the runnel’s sweet, dull silver traceand spreads not up but down, each drop a leafin the eternal blackness of that sky.The leaves you show uncurl like tiny fistsand bear small button blossoms, greenish white,that quicken you. Now put your roots down deep;draw light from shadow, break in on earth’s sleep.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.