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Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida

Flowering dogwood

Flowers of a flowering dogwood

Flowering dogwood
Courtesy G. Lumis

Flowers of a flowering dogwood
Courtesy G. Lumis

Summary
Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf
Height: 20 to 30 feet 
Spread: 20 to 30 feet 
Shape: Spreading 

White flowers bloom in spring. Dark green foliage changes to red in fall. Red berries remain on tree late in fall.

Plant Needs
Zone: 5 to 8
Light: Partial shade 
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry
Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay 
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5 

Functions
Suggested uses for this plant include border, specimen plant, naturalizing, and attracting wildlife.

Planting Notes
Avoid transplanting trees from the wild which may already be infected with the Dogwood anthracnose fungus. 
Select trees that have balled and burlapped roots. 
Plant in acid, well-drained soil in partial shade. Avoid compact or shallow soils.
Does not tolerate pollution.

Problems
Susceptible to many diseases and insects, including borers, anthracnose, and flower and leaf spots.
Many problems result from damage to bark caused by lawnmowers and string trimmers.

Alternatives
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of CORNUS FLORIDA
`Apple Blossom' has apple-blossom pink flowers.
`Cherokee Chief' has red flowers, new leaves are reddish. 
`White Cloud' has numerous creamy-white flowers, especially when plant is very young.
`Xanthocarpa' has yellow fruit.

Comments
Dogwood is the most popular native flowering tree and is the state tree of Virginia.
It is often used as a specimen, in masses, or naturalized under large trees. 
Interesting in all seasons because of its showy spring flowers, red berries, consistent fall color, and branching habit. 

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.