Flowering dogwoods (Cornus nutallii, Cornus florida and Cornus kousa) are outstandingly beautiful, fully hardy woody shrubs, or, given perhaps a decade or more, small trees.
Much admired for their masses of white or pink flowers (strictly speaking, the large bracts that surround the mass of tiny flowers), flowering dogwoods also put on a great show of autumn foliage colours in pink, reds and and yellows as well as the large red fruits which loosely resemble a cross between a lychee and a strawberry. Whilst being entirely safe to eat, they are only moderately tasty, with a flavour akin to somewhat dilute peaches, so they are probably best left for the birds to enjoy.
Plant in fertile soils that do not get very dry (mulch with well-rotted manure or garden compost if in doubt) in full sun or light shade, and water well during the first summer whilst the root system is getting established.
Other than one or two varieties marked as 'smaller' plants, all our flowering dogwoods are in 7 litre pots, or larger, and are between 1 and 1.5m high and at least two years old. Flowering dogwoods priced above £50 or more will be 3-4 years old, in 10, 15 or occasionally 20 litre pots and will be 2-3m in height. If you contact us we can give you exact pot sizes and plant height for each variety.
A cross between Cornus florida and Cornus nuttallii, with glossy, dark green leaves, turning a beautiful red- purple in autumn. Spectacular early summer flowers have large (7.5cm) white bracts. In time Ascona will take on a weeping habit. Fully hardy. H: 3-5m
Hybrid cross between C. kousa and C. capitata. A beautiful, large shrub or small tree, spreading in habit, with elliptic leaves turning reddish in autumn. Large flowers with white bracts which turn pink with age. Strawberry-like fruit in hotter summers. Evergreen in mild winters. Grow in fertile, deep soils in full sun or light shade. Fully hardy. H: 2-4m.
A beautiful small tree or large shrub with spreading, tiered branches; white margined leaves, small white flowers and spherical blue-black (inedible) fruit. Best in dappled shade and moister soils. H: 2-3m
Himalayan flowering dogwood. Very attractive shrub or, in sheltered areas, small tree. Semi- evergreen. Grey--green foliage and flowerheads surrounded by lovely sulphur-yellow bract in mid-summer. Best in a little light shade and reasonably good soil. Hardy.
An exceptionally beautiful small tree, with flat layers of branches ('tabulated') with green and silver-margined foliage. Cream flowers in May and small black fruits in autumn add further appeal. Native to China. H: 2-4m
Very beautiful deciduous small tree or large shrub. Profuse flowering in early summer with large and distinctive white bracts around each flower. Lighter green leaves than the parent species. Sun or part shade on moist but well drained soil, but not chalky conditions. H: up to 3-5m.
Raised in Japan, and noted for its very large leaves which turn fiery red in the autumn. The flowers also are larger than usual with prominent light pink bracts. Will make an outstanding specimen small tree. Fully hardy. Best in full sun or light shade in rich and slightly moister soils - mulch well!. H:2-5m
A smaller cultivar, distinguished by the elegantly pointed red bracts around its flowers. Leaves are dark green, colouring red and orange in autumn. A very similar plant grows wild on Mount Fuji in Japan. Fully hardy. Best in full sun or light shade in richer and reliably moist soils. H:2-4m
Cornus kousa 'Bultinck's Giant Flowers' has been selected for its relatively compact size and unusually large flowers. This makes it especially suited to smaller gardens where it will grow into a medium to large sized shrub.
A small tree or large shrub, 'Cappucino' has been carefully selected for its beautiful dark red leaf which contrasts vividly with the large white flowers which fade gently to pink. Grow in fertile, moist but reasonably well drained soil in full sun or light shade. Can grow to a height of 3m after 10 years
Raised in Japan. More compact than its parent species, this is a reliably flowering variety and the large pink bracts make for a spectacular early summer display. The leaves turn vivid yellow and red in autumn. Best in full sun and rich soil. Fully hardy. H: 2-3m
'Moonbeam' was selected for its extra large flower, up to 15cm in diameter. Leaves are dark green, contrasting markedly with the cream white flowers. Also noted for a more open and vigorous growth than other 'kousa' varieties. Best in deep, fertile and reliably moist soil, in full sun or light shde. Fully hardy. H: 2-6m