Cornus florida – Flowering Dogwood (North America)
Habit: Large shrub to small tree, 5-(10) m tall and wide; upward-reaching, several stems with broadly extended, asymmetrical, somewhat flattened crown, initially very slow-growing, then medium growth, 10-15 cm a year.
Flowers: Flowers before leaves shoot end of May or earlier, plentiful, inconspicuously greenish, surrounded by white, occasionally soft pink bracts, notched at the tip; flowers some 14 days; unique flowering plant.
Fruits: Scarlet, oval fruits from September on, in clusters.
Leaves: Ovoid, somewhat pointed, yellow-green when shooting, dull green in summer, attractive crimson to red in autumn.
Roots: Cordate roots, not far-reaching, sensitive to drought and soil compaction.
Demands: Sun to semi-shade; usually frost hardy, occasionally sensitive to late frost, prefers cool, humid areas.
Soil: Fresh to moist; on well drained and nutritious, humic, acidic to neutral soil.
Note: The first few years, very sensitive to heat and drought; needs watering during dry spells; put mulch over base.
Native habitat: Cornus florida is one of many species in the mixed forests of North America. Diverse oaks such as species of Quercus coccinea, Fraxinus and Pinus species spread as umbrellas. Other large trees include, for instance, Aesculus flava, Juglans nigra or Liquidambar styraciflua, and many shrubs such as species of Halesia, Hamamelis and Magnolia. The ground is covered by Dicentra, Geum, Darmera peltata and a lot of Tiarella cordifolia. Anemones, Hepatica and many lilies are mixed in.
Hardiness: Zone 6a