A vigorous large shrub or small ornamental tree, being a cross between Cornus florida and Cornus nutallii (C. florida x C. nutallii), and if you were to have only one flowering dogwood in the garden, Eddie's White Wonder should surely be pretty near the top of the list.
Young plants have a quite narrow habit but in time this becomes a more spreading form and after a few years a distinct weeping nature comes to the fore - this is certainly true of the specimen we have been growing here in south Norfolk over the last ten years or so.
Young plants will only produce a few flowers but one of the pleasure of growing flowering dogwoods is seeing each year's growth produce ever more generous displays of wonderful blooms. By the fifth or sixth year you will see layers of dozens if not hundreds of large (as much 12cm across) white bracted flowers in early summer that make for a stunning and highly desireable plant - flowering is at its absolute best after a hot summer which ripens the the new shoots, which incidentally increases winter hardiness, and, importantly, stimulates the formation of flower buds.
Flowering is followed decorative, orange to red-coloured fruits, superficially resembling a lychee (absolutely no relation for sure) - much appreciated by the birds as these soften and fall off in the autumn.
The mid green leaves turn brilliant orange, purple and vivid red in the autumn, thus ensuring at least two season of interest.
Happy in full sun or light shade Eddie's White Wonder will perform at its best in rich, moist but well drained soils. Dig in generous amounts of well rotted manure when planting, and if the soil is considered poor or prone to drying out then mulch each winter with well rotted garden compost or manure.
Pruning should really be kept to a minimum, but in our experience flowering dogwoods such as Cornus 'Eddie's White Wonder' actually respond pretty well to being cut. So, if you have to, prune, for example to keep a plant compact and tidy, do so after immediately flowering, which will allow time for new shoots to develop and ripen during the summer.
Final height will depend on the quality of the soil but you can reasonably expect a plant of at least 2m height and in time perhaps as much as 5m - now that would be a truly spectacular sight!
Eddie's White Wonder is similar to Cornus 'Ascona' although on the basis of growing both plants on the nursery at the same time, Ascona may just be a little later flowering.
Named after H.M Eddie, of H.M. Eddie and Sons , a plant nursery in Vancouver which as far as we can tell has been closed since the 1970s.
Cornus 'Eddie's White Wonder' has fallen out of favour in the US as it is not considered fully hardy there but as far as the Uk is concerned, regardless of global warming and our increasingly mild winters, it can be confidently thought of as fully hardy. It is also generally disease free and easy to grow.
Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993 and shortlisted for the "Chelsea Plant of the Centenary" for the decade 1963-1972.