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Cornus florida

Cornus florida, the North American Flowering Dogwood, is a small shrub-like tree with many features of interest.

What appear to be large white flowers appear in May - these are actually tiny yellow-green flowers surrounded by large colourful modified leaves called bracts.

In late summer the flowers are followed by small orange/red persistent fruitlets, looking a bit like rosehips. These are not suitable for human consumption but popular with birds.

The characteristic dark green oval-shaped leaves turn shades of red and purple in the autumn.

Cornus florida flowering dogwood trees for sale

  • 2-year pot-grown tree £56.95
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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How to grow

Cornus florida does best in deep fertile soils which are neutral or slightly acidic - avoid shallow soils or chalky soils.

In UK conditions it should reach about 3m after 10 years or so.

Pruning is best avoided, but if it is necessary to remove damaged branches, do so in the winter.

History

Cornus florida is native to the east coast of the USA from Maine (and parts of nearby Canada) to Texas and Florida, and into Mexico. It is also the state tree of Missouri and Virginia. There are numerous varieties in cultivation, with slightly different characteristics, but this is the original species.

Cornus florida characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAttractive fruitAutumn foliage colour
  • Growth habitUpright-spreading / Vase
  • Height after 10 years2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningDo not prune
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsSheltered siteFree-draining site
  • WildlifeAttractive to birds
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Flowering monthAprilMay
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnBronze / Purple
  • Leaf/Flower sequenceLeaves appear first
  • Fruit colourOrange
  • Fruit persistencePersistent
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Annual cycleDeciduous