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The Plant Guide

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Pagoda dogwood

Cornus alternifolia

KOR-nus all-ter-nih-FOE-lee-ah
Cornus alternifolia

This plant owes its name to its distinctive layered branches, which resemble the tiered, spreading roofline of an elaborate pagoda. Pagoda dogwoods are especially striking when accented by masses of small, fragrant creamy white flowers in early summer. Small, round fruits ripen to a deep blue-purple in late summer.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsNative to North America, from Newfoundland to Minnesota, southward to the extreme southern Appalachians, and westward to Missouri. Performs best near its native range. Tolerates more cold, wind, and alkaline soil than flowering dogwood.

CareGrow in moist soil in partial shade.

PropagationRoot from softwood and hardwood cuttings. Also grown from seed.

ProblemsDogwood blight, powdery mildew, 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 : 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Fruit
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Light : Partial Shade
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : White
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