Flowering dogwood

Cornus florida

Photo/Illustration: 
Chris Curless
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Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
KOR-nus FLOOR-ih-dah
Genus:  Cornus

This native flowering tree is best known for its early spring blossoms, which are actually yellowish green flowers clustered in the center of four showy, white to pink bracts 1-1/2 to 2 inches long. Clusters of four bright red fruits mature in early fall, often persisting into the beginning of winter. 

Noteworthy Characteristics: 

Reddish-brown wood is extremely hard and is used to make tool handles. Great as a specimen tree or in groupings, also in the woodland garden. Fruit is toxic to humans.

Care: 

Grow in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Prefers neutral to acidic soil.

Propagation: 

Graft cultivars in winter. Root greenwood cuttings in summer.

Problems: 

Dogwood blight, powdery mildew, Discula blight, canker, bacterial leaf spot, and mushroom root rot. Common: twig borers, weevils, sawfly, scale insects, aphids, leafhoppers, root knot nematodes, and thrips.

Overview

Height
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Spread
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Attracts Butterflies,
Attracts Song Birds,
Interesting Bark,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Early Spring,
Spring
Flower Color
Pink,
White
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Cottage Garden,
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Trees