Midwinter Fire Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

Midwinter Fire Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Midwinter Fire Dogwood is a small to medium-sized deciduous shrub, growing between 3 and 6 feet tall and wide, depending on pruning. The handsome dark-green leaves are bronzy when young, and turn glowing yellow in fall. The young twigs are pink with purple flushes, turning orange and then bright red by winter. Small white flowers in spring produce clusters of purple berries in late summer, enjoyed by birds. This tough shrub is ideal for planting in all your beds, and especially useful in damp ground, beside water, or edging woodland areas. A reliable and vigorous shrub for every garden.

  • Brilliant orange and red winter branches
  • Attractive dark-green leaves turn yellow in fall
  • Clusters of white flowers and dark-purple berries
  • Grows well in damp areas and by water
  • Easy-care, tough and reliable

Full sun will bring out the best colors in the Midwinter Fire Dogwood, but it will grow fine in partial shade. It grows in ordinary soils, including alkaline ones, and also in moist ground that isn’t stagnant, especially beside water. It doesn’t have pests or diseases and it’s easy to grow, asking little. Prune every 2 or 3 years, cutting back to a few inches tall – new, very colorful stems will soon grow up, keeping it around 3 feet tall and wide.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-7
Mature Width 5-6
Mature Height 5-6
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-7

Winter in the garden can be a drab and boring time. Black earth, snow and bare twigs don’t exactly brighten our hearts on days when the nights close in so soon. That’s why it’s important to have plants in your garden that bring beauty in winter, and that’s why you should have the Midwinter Fire Dogwood in your garden. It’s glowing orange and red twigs light up the bleakest days, looking effective against bare soil, snow, water or ice, and giving a lift when we most need it. On crisp sunny days it sparkles and shines. This useful shrub is also super-easy to grow and makes a great summer background for all your other plants. As well, it is ideal for those difficult wet places that so many gardens have, and perfect beside water, whether you have a tiny pond or a lake-frontage. Every garden has spaces to fill with undemanding, low-maintenance shrubs – and the Midwinter Fire Dogwood falls clearly into that category – and gives you both glowing yellow fall leaves and striking red twigs in winter – what’s not to like?

Growing the Midwinter Fire Dogwood

Size and Appearance

The Midwinter Fire Dogwood is an upright, broad, deciduous shrub, naturally growing 5 or 6 feet tall and just as wide if left untrimmed. With periodic pruning it can easily be kept closer to 3 feet tall. It produces many slender twigs, sprouting from the base, which are pink when young but as colder weather comes they turn orange and then bright red, making a really colorful show in your garden. New stems often turn purple on their sunny side. The color lasts all winter. Older twigs are yellow, and after a few years they turn greenish-gray in color, but new growth is always winter red. The smooth oval leaves are about 3 inches long, tapering to a pointed tip, with prominent veins running along their length. They are bronzy-green in spring, turning dark-green all summer, making a calm backdrop to other plants. In fall they turn clear, bright yellow, and then drop to reveal the brightly-colored twigs.

In late spring, on unpruned plants, you will see small clusters of white flowers along the twigs, partially hidden among the leaves. By late summer these have turned into bunches of dark purple berries. The flower and berry display is quietly attractive, and the berries are popular and valuable food for songbirds.

Using the Midwinter Fire Dogwood in Your Garden

Use this reliable shrub wherever you want a splash of winter color. It’s great for filling spaces in large beds, mass-planting along streams and beside water, or for bringing winter interest to the foundation planting around your home. The branches can be cut for vases in the house. Try to place it where you see it coming and going from your house in winter, or from a window – you probably won’t be spending much time in winter in the back corners of your yard.


This dogwood is hardy in zones 5, 6 and 7. It will grow in warmer zones in the north-west. If you want similar plants that are hardy in zones 3 and 4, check out our varieties of Cornus alba or our native red-twig dogwood, Cornus sericea. These are all very similar in appearance.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun will give the strongest growth and best winter color on your plants of the Midwinter Fire Dogwood, but it also grows well in areas with a few hours of shade each day. This plant grows well in ordinary garden soils, including alkaline soils, but also in moist to wet soils, as long as they are not stagnant and smelly. This makes it ideal for planting beside water where the choice of plants is limited. Very dry, sandy soils are not so suitable, but it will grow in most locations.

Maintenance and Pruning

The Midwinter Fire Dogwood is free of pests or diseases, untroubled by deer, and easy to grow. It can be left to grow naturally, but over time the new growth becomes shorter, so it becomes less colorful in winter. You can prune annually, but the easiest thing is to prune back close to the ground every 2 or 3 years. Do this in early spring, leaving about 6 inches of older stems. It will quickly re-sprout, sending up new twigs 2 to 3 feet long by fall, with lots of bright color. Avoid trimming like a hedge, as this will make the new twigs even shorter, and reduce color more.

History and Origin of the Midwinter Fire Dogwood

The European dogwood, Cornus sanguinea, grows wild all across Europe, from England to the Caspian Sea. It grows beside water, in low-lying areas and around woods. The long, straight stems have been used since prehistoric times for making arrows. It is often called “winter fire” for its red twigs, which are often sold in bunches in flower shops. The variety Midwinter Beauty was discovered around 1980 in a garden in Germany by V. H. Venhorst, and introduced as a garden variety in 1990 by Van den Dool Cultures BV, a tree nursery in Boskoop, the Netherlands. It is similar to Winter Beauty – but more vigorous and colorful – with which it is sometimes confused.

Buying the Midwinter Fire Dogwood at the Tree Center

These various dogwoods with colored winter twigs are invaluable in every garden, and such reliable plants that they are always big sellers. The Midwinter Fire Dogwood is always super-popular, and especially colorful. Don’t miss out, order now, and keep your garden warm this winter around a glowing fire.

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Midwinter Fire Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'