Cornus is a genus of about 30–60 species of woody plants in the family Cornaceae, commonly known as dogwoods, which can generally be distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark. (Wikipedia)
Chinese Dogwood (Cornus Kousa) is a small, showy ornamental tree that explodes with white star shaped blooms in mid- to late May. Bloom time is several weeks after the flowering dogwood and after leaves emerge in spring. The red berries of Chinese Dogwood trees are said to look like big round raspberries and persist into winter . Wild birds enjoy the berries as a tasty winter meal. Fall colors range from dull purplish-red to maroon. The attractive bark is exfoliating (comes off in flakes). It is known to be disease resistance to dogwood anthracnose, making it an desired alternative to plant in place of the native flowering dogwood. Chinese Dogwoods are grown in zones 5 – 9.
Chinese Dogwood tree is best used as a border accent, near a deck or patio, or as a specimen. It works well at the edge of woods where it will receive some sun. While young, they tend to grow more upright, but with age spreads broadly with horizontal branching, making the top of the tree wider than tall. It is a relatively small tree in stature – 15 feet to 30 feet in height at maturity. The Chinese Dogwood tree is a slow to moderate grower, as it grows about 10 feet in 15 years.
White Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Cornus florida (commonly referred to simply as “flowering dogwood tree”) is indigenous to the United States. It is know for it’s striking white flush of blooms every spring making it stand out brightly among the other trees. Its’ bright flowers are composed of four large white bracts surrounding the small yellow flowers. In the fall, leaves turn red to mauve colors with bright red fruits that are eagerly harvested by a variety of birds and squirrels.
The Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) originally evolved in the forests of the eastern United States where it thrived under the canopy of larger trees in the shady, moist, and nutrient-rich soil. Home-owners and landscapers have long favored it for its lovely spring display, its attractive shape and luxuriant leaves and its modest size.
Flowering dogwoods growing in shade tend to be more tall and thin, with graceful, open, horizontal branching. Those growing in the sun tend to be more compact, denser, and shorter but producing more flowers than those in the shade. They work well planted at the edge of woods with more sun exposure. Routinely grown with multiple trunks, they can also be trained as a short, single trunk as a specimen plant. They look striking planted near a deck or patio or as a border accent.
Dogwoods will generally tolerate a range of soil conditions and both full sun and shade, but prefer nutrient rich soil. Dogwoods will not tolerate dry or arid conditions and it is important to water the soil when dry and not plant too close to areas that will increase heat, such as the walls of buildings.
Zones 5-9 Part Sun to Full 15 – 30 ft tall