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The Plant Guide

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Flowering dogwood

Cornus florida

KOR-nus FLOOR-ih-dah Audio

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 CharacteristicsReddish-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.

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

PropagationGraft cultivars in winter. Root greenwood cuttings in summer.

ProblemsDogwood 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.

  • Genus : Cornus
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring, Spring
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Characteristics : Interesting Bark, Showy Seed Heads
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink, White
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
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