slideshow: dogwoods, or cornus, i rely on

cornus mas gold leafABIG, OLD CORNUS FLORIDA, or flowering native dogwood, shaded the patio of the house I grew up in, a handsome tree in multiple seasons and one under which many Nancy Drew books were read and Good Humor popsicles savored. I don’t grow C. florida in my current garden, but looking around here now as the snow recedes and making my pruning task list for the weeks ahead, I realize how many other dogwood species I do grow, and enjoy. A slideshow of some reliable favorites.

Click on the first thumbnail to start the slides, then toggle from image to image using the arrow keys on your keyboard, or by clicking the arrows next to each caption. A list of dogwood profiles and other links is below the gallery. Enjoy!

Profiles of Cornus:

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March 6, 2011

comments

  1. Brandon Gay says

    I have a Cornus Kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’ at the very top of my Forest Farm order this spring. I’m sorry to hear yours has been finicky. Perhaps that should give me pause, but frankly, I’m so enamored by Wolf Eyes, if you told me it has been known to poke holes in hostas and swear at children, I would still invite it into my garden.

    It’s going on the east side of my house as an understory tree where it will receive about 3 hours of morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade. I’m in Kansas, zone 5B, and our summers are probably similar to yours, perhaps slightly warmer. Hopefully afternoon shade will prevent the leaf curl.

    I don’t think it will bloom much, but nor will it probably swear at the neighbor kids. With that foliage, who needs flowers?

  2. says

    I enjoyed seeing all the varities of dogwoods. I didn’t know there were so many! The dogwood is my favorite tree, but after killing four, I have to admit that I can’t have one in my zone 9 Mediteranean like climate. But I do love seeing photos of them. So I will continue having dogwood envy along with my peony envy and lilac envy, and try to be grateful for plants that I can grow!

    • says

      Welcome, Dorothy. There are many more, of course, and I even have two more kinds (but no photos yet!). I love your attitude about enjoying the plants you can grow — I feel the same, or try to, when I see your warm-climate beauties!

  3. Barbara Evans says

    Loved the dogwood pictures! It is one of my all time favorites. We moved to CA almost 20 years ago, and spring just isn’t the same without them! One of my favorite things to do in the spring (before the move) was to go to Valley Forge Park and enjoy all the dogwood. The house I grew up in also had a large (very old) dogwood that created a perfect hiding spot where I would take my Nancy Drew books and read for hours! Thanks for bringing back some good memories with your pictures.

    • says

      Welcome, Barbara. Aren’t they great? I hear you about the “hiding spot” memory — exactly how our tree was, too. See you soon, I hope.

  4. Jenny says

    We can’t grow most of those in your garden, it’s too hot! However, I have many Cornus florida, love ‘em! They pop up all over the yard, I just pot them up and give them away.

    • says

      Welcome, Jenny, you lucky person. C. florida gets so much fungal disease (discula fungus, or anthracnose, here in recent years). What a beautiful tree. I wish I had the right spot to make it really happy. Hope to see you soon again.

  5. Kathy M says

    I planted a Cornus Kousa about 3 yrs ago and so far it has never bloomed . It looks healthy and is putting on growth but no flowers. It is about 6ft tall and in the shade of a very tall Tulip Popular. Too much shade?

  6. Susie Collins says

    The dogwoods are exquisite. I want to look at the varieties and pick one that would grow well in Northern Michigan. The Cornus Kousa of the “Lustgarten Weeping” is stunning. I also like the red fruit of Cornus Mas.

  7. Colta Ives says

    And, for those who enjoy the odd bit of Zen in their gardens, let’s hear it for the Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia).

    Enjoying your book, Margaret.

    C.

  8. Louise says

    Wow! Great pictures that helped me identify a tree that puzzled me last August with huge red berries.

    I learned that it is a Cornus Kousa dogwood. The large red berries were such a surprise. Of course not knowing it was a dogwood, I planted a red twig bush for winter interest where peppermint plants nearly crowded it out, and a flowering dogwood in the front yard to complement a later blooming Hydrangea Pee Gee on the other side.

    The bush looked pitiful this summer. So I moved it to a sunnier spot with space. It hasn’t perked up with the nearly 100 degree weather. So I am thinking of pruning it to a foot or so hoping that the new twigs will be healthier.

    Thanks for the slideshow.

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