A dogwood tree in the Spring is surely
a sight to behold, but this genus consists of more than just flowering
trees. Dogwood trees are typically grown for their showy Spring
flowers, technically known as "bracts", while dogwood shrubs are
mainly grown for their peculiar leaf colors and brilliant winter
bark. The dogwood shrubs, though lesser known, have their own characteristics
that set them apart in the landscape throughout the year.
The species of dogwood trees and shrubs listed below will give you
a better understanding of what's available to you in the dogwood
|Cornus alba -
- A vigorous, deciduous shrub with
dark green leaves. Species exhibits red winter stems. Makes
an excellent hedge and the attractive fruit draws birds. Thrives
in partially-wet to wet soils and tolerates full sun to part
shade. Native to North China - Korea and Siberia. Popular
cultivars include: 'Aurea', 'Elegantissima', 'Sibirica', and
|Cornus alternifolia -
- The Pagoda dogwood tree is known
for its layered horizontal branching structure. Can be grown
as a single trunk or a multi-trunk tree. When in bloom, it
produces clusters of small white flowers and blackish blue
berries. The Pagoda dogwood tree is native to North America,
and does well in either full sun or shade with ample soil
moisture. Cultivar includes 'Argentea'.
|Cornus amomum -
- This deciduous shrub exhibits
white-yellow flower clusters in late Spring and early Summer,
followed by grayish-blue fruit . Commonly grown in thickets,
the silky dogwood thrives in poorly drained soils and is primarily
used for windbreaks and wildlife borders.
|Cornus canadensis -
- Native to North America, this
species is also known as creeping dogwood, dwarf cornel, crackerberry
and the pudding berry. Considered mature at only 8", this
shrub was named "The fastest-moving plant ever discovered"
in May 2005. Wildlife feed on the bright red berries.
|Cornus controversa -
Giant Dogwood Tree
- A fast growing and deciduous
dogwood tree. This dogwood tree is not native to North America.
In Spring it has showy white flowers followed by blue black
fruit that attracts wildlife. The Giant Dogwood Tree grows
in full sun - part shade. Widely planted as a street tree
because of urban soil tolerance.
Cultivars include: 'Variegata'.
|Cornus florida -
Flowering Dogwood Tree
- Ranked America's most popular
dogwood tree and has long been considered a soil improver.
The flowering dogwood tree grows well in diverse soils and
is extremely valuable for various wildlife because the fruit,
flowers, twigs, seeds, bark, and leaves are utilized as food.
Cultivars include: 'Cherokee Chief', 'Cherokee Daybreak',
'Cherokee Princess', 'First Lady', among others. The flowering
dogwood tree is the state tree of Missouri, North Carolina
|Cornus kousa -
Kousa Dogwood Tree
- The Kousa dogwood tree blooms
in late Spring to Early Summer. Commonly called the Japanese
Flowering dogwood tree, Kousa is closely related to the Flowering
Dogwood. This tree has low water requirements and shows a
moderate tolerance for salt and alkali soils. Cultivars include:
'China Girl', 'Gold Star', 'Milky Way', 'Satomi', and others.
|Cornus mas -
Cornelian Cherry Tree
- This medium size dogwood tree
prefers partial shade and well drained soil, rates as deer-resistant
and can be grown under the shade of tall trees. Yellow flowers
bloom in very early Spring. The fruit is edible and may be
used for tart jellies and fruit drinks. Cultivars include,
'Alba', Aureoelegantissima', 'Elegantissima', 'Flava', 'Fructu
Violaceo', among others.
|Cornus racemosa -
- This species of dogwood is native
to North America and grows well in both full sun and shade.
Creamy white flowers bloom from May until July. Small white
fruit form after the flowers have dropped. Gray dogwood tolerates
urban air pollution. Easily grown in average, dry or medium
wet, well-drained soil.
|Cornus sanguinea -
- Also known as common dogwood,
pegwood, dogberry, or red twig dogwood. This deciduous shrub
has white flowers and black fruit, mainly known for the reddish
green twig color of its bark in Winter. Bloodtwig dogwood
grows well in Full Sun-Light Shade. Requires consistently
moist soil. Cultivars include: 'Winter Beauty' syn. 'Winter
Flame' or 'Midwinter Fire'
|Cornus stolonifera -
- Native to North America, also
known as red willow. Does well in full sun or partial shade.
Redosier Dogwood prefers boggy soils, is not tolerant of excessively
dry soil. White flowers bloom from May throughout the summer.
An extremely hardy shrub, the deep red winter shoots are enjoyed
for many months of the year and are also used to weave baskets.