Tatarian Dogwood ‘Sibirica’ is an extremely widespread variety of Cornus alba. It is a perennial deciduous shrub of medium size and especially fast growth rate, whereas it is smaller in size than the typical species.
Its height varies between 1.2 to 2 m (4-6.5 ft) and its diameter is between 1 and 1.5 m (3-5 ft).
Its canopy is spherical-ellipsoid, relatively dense and symmetrical especially in young plants, while it is medium-textured and upright.
Its life reaches about 20 years.
The plant develops from the root many upright and unbranched stems. Their color is red, bright and intense initially, which is also the basic aesthetic characteristic of the plant during the winter, but as the spring approaches, it gradually loses its intensity taking a dark brown-red color.
The leaves are simple, oval-elliptic, acute, with smooth edges, are 10-12 cm (4-4.5 in) in length and placed opposite to the stems. Their upper surface is green and the lower gray-green, while in autumn they get an orange or orange-red tint.
Flowers appear at the end of the spring with early summer in capitulum inflorescences, with a diameter of 5-6 cm (2-2.3 in), they have yellowish-white color and attract butterflies and pollinators.
The fruits are drupes, their shape is spherical-oval and their color is white or bluish-white. They have a diameter of 1.2-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) and are of moderate decorative value – which does not prevent birds from eating them.
The ‘Sibirica’ variety is less resistant to cold than the typical species. It tolerates low temperatures up to -37 °C (−35 °F – USDA Hardiness zone 3b) and it is recommended to avoid planting it in areas with hot summers and frequent high temperatures in long duration.
In terms of soil, they prefer deep, medium and fertile, which contain organic substance, they are cool but at the same time have excellent drainage.
In relation to the light requirements, it can be planted both in sunny and semi-shade positions.
Sometimes it can be affected by glasshouse red spider mite, aphids, and scales, while leaf spot, twig and leaf blights are reported from diseases. By using the appropriate formulations, they are treated satisfactorily.
For fertilization, the application of a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer every 15 to 20 days, from the beginning of spring to early autumn, gives very good results. It is also recommended every two to three years to apply a phosphorus fertilizer in the winter.
Pruning is a necessary job for Cornus alba because the plant tends to ‘open‘ over time. It also helps in the production of new shoots whose winter color is much better than that of mature ones.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the ‘Sibirica’ variety has received the Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society.
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This cultivar of Tatarian Dogwood is suitable for: