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Dogwood Trees

C. alba
(Tatarian dogwood)

C. alba 'Argenteo-marginata'
(Silver-edged dogwood)

C. alba
(Siberian dogwood)

C. canadensis


C. florida
(Flowering dogwood)

C. kousa
(Kousa or Japanese dogwood)

C. mas
(Cornelian cherry)

C. nuttallii
(Pacific, Western or Mountain dogwood)

C. sericea, also called C. stolonifera
(Red osier dogwood)

C. sericea 'Flaviramea'
(Yellow-twigged dogwood)

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The flowering dogwood, C. florida, a species native from New England to Florida and Texas, is one of the outstanding flowering trees in the United States. It eventually grows to a height of 15 to 30 feet with a spread of 15 to 20 feet. Its 3- to 5-inch flowers are borne in mid spring before the leaves open. The blossoms are usually white, and each petal has a distinctive notch at its tip. Small clusters of shiny red berries 1/4 inch in diameter are borne at the ends of the twigs in late summer and fall.

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The leaves, 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, are pinkish green when they open, then turn medium green in summer and red in fall. The bark of the flowering dogwood is also distinctive: it is nearly black, and on old trunks, is deeply furrowed in a checkerboard pattern. There are a number of particularly good white-flowering varieties. Among them are 'White Cloud' and 'Cherokee Princess', both of which are known for their profusion of flowers; 'Welchii', whose leaves have creamy white and pink markings; C. florida 'Rubra', a pink blossoming tree with flowers ranging from blush white to deep pink; 'Apple Blossom' with medium pink flowers and 'Cherokee Chief' with very dark pink flowers.