We are trying to identify if the existing shrubs we have are the Cornus...

Asked October 2, 2017, 9:32 AM EDT

We are trying to identify if the existing shrubs we have are the Cornus sericea (straight species) or if we have the hybridized Cornus sericea 'Baileyi'. What is the best way to find this out? I can provide a clipping and photos if it would help...just let me know and I can provide within a couple days. Also, what is the difference between the two plants? Would you suggest planting the straight species or the hybridized species and why? We want the dramatic red stems in winter and we want to keep the plant as controlled as possible (keep to about 4' tall and 4' wide).

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

There is quite a bit of variation in the stem color of the species, so the stem color will probably not be helpful except that generally it should not be as bright red as Baileyi.

The species fruit is white, but may have a blue tinge. Baileyi is reported to be "bluish."

Also, the species is stoloniferous, i.e. is will spread by suckers, while Baileyi does not, according to the following webpage, which also give some distinguished characteristics of Baileyi at the end of "Noteworthy Characteritistics" : http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=243989

You are certainly welcome to send us photos, though they may be of limited help.