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Dogwood Tree

     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 world.


Cornus alba - Redtwig Dogwood - Pictures
  •      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 'Cardinal'
    Zones 2-8

Cornus alternifolia - Pagoda Dogwood Tree - Pictures
  •      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'.
    Zones 4-8

Cornus amomum - Silky Dogwood - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 5-8

Cornus canadensis - Creeping Dogwood - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 2-7

Cornus controversa - Giant Dogwood Tree - Pictures
  •      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'.
    Zones 6-9

Cornus florida - Flowering Dogwood Tree - Pictures
  •      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 and Virginia.
    Zones 5-9

Cornus kousa - Kousa Dogwood Tree - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 5-9

Cornus mas - Cornelian Cherry Tree - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 5-8

Cornus racemosa - Gray Dogwood - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 4-8

Cornus sanguinea - Bloodtwig Dogwood - Pictures
  •       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'
    Zones 5-7

Cornus stolonifera - Redosier Dogwood - Pictures
  •      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.
    Zones 2-8


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