Flowering Dogwood: One Of The Most Popular Red-Flowered Cultivars

Flowering Dogwood: One Of The Most Popular Red-Flowered Cultivars

Flowering Dogwood

Photo Compliments ofMartin LaBar

Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’, or flowering dogwood grows 20 to 25 feet tall and spreads 12 to 15 feet. This is one of the most popular red-flowered cultivars. You will usually see this in the landscape as a multi-trunked tree.

Branches on the lower half of the crown grow horizontally; those in the upper half are more upright. In time, this can lend a strikingly horizontal impact to the landscape, particularly if some branches are thinned to open up the crown. Lower branches left on the trunk will typically drop to the ground.

Flowering dogwood blooms in early spring (April).  The true dogwood flowers are actually tiny, yellowish green and insignificant, being compacted into button-like clusters. However, each flower cluster is surrounded by four showy, petal-like bracts which open flat, giving the appearance of a single, large, 3 to 4 inch diameter, 4-petaled, flower.

New leaves emerge bronze-red in spring, maturing to green. The leaves are oval, dark green (4 to 6 inches in length).  Autumn brings fantastic burgundy-red foliage.  Fall color is more vivid in Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.  The show continues on into winter, with red fruit clinging to bare branches. Bright red fruits are bitter and inedible to humans.

How To Make Your Flowering Dogwood Thrive

Flowering dogwoods are easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. The preference is moist, organically rich, acidic soils in part shade. Flowering dogwoods will benefit from a 2 to 4 inch mulch which will help keep roots cool and moist in summer.

General Flowering Dogwood Information

Pests & Diseases

Flowering dogwood, when stressed, is susceptible to a rather large number of disease problems; the most serious of which is dogwood anthracnose which has caused considerable devastation in parts of the eastern US. This dogwood is also susceptible to leaf spot, crown canker, root rot. and leaf and twig blight. When flowering dogwoods are stressed trees they also become vulnerable to borers. Leaf miner and scale are less serious potential insect pests.

Garden Uses

The flowering dogwood is popular as a specimen, or it can be used in a small grouping on residential property around homes, near patios or placed in your lawn. It is also quite effective in woodland, bird, or native plant gardens.

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Cornus florida
  • Common Name: Flowering dogwood
  • Type: Tree
  • Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 15 to 25 feet
  • Spread: 15 to 25 feet
  • Bloom Time: April to May
  • Bloom Description: Rose red
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Medium
  • Maintenance: Medium
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Leaf Type: Simple, entire, ovate
  • Leaf Size: 4 to 6 inches long, 2 to 4 inches wide
  • Fall Foliage Color: Red
  • Attracts: Birds
  • Fruit: Showy
  • Tolerates: Deer, clay soil

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  1. THat is a gorgeous plant – especially when in full flower!
    ladyfi recently posted..Purple rainMy Profile

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