Cornus nuttallii (western North America)
Habit: Noble large shrub, rarely a small tree, 3-6 m tall, 2-5 m wide; specimens with several stems have broadly round crown, one-stem ones are more conical; the powerful size in its natural habitat – 20-30 m – is not matched in central Europe; slow-growing, 25-40 cm a year.
Flowers: Uncommon, conspicuous bracts, in groups of 4 to 6 (8), initially greenish, gradually ivory, pink shades when withering, diameter 10-15 cm; May to June; the actual, inconspicuous flower heads are in the centre of the bracts extended like propellers; in favourable areas, second blossoms end of August to September.
Fruits: Round, consisting of some 30 small berries, orange or pink-red to crimson, from September to October.
Leaves: Broadly elliptical, ovoid, light green when shooting, then dark green, lighter underneath; bright yellow in autumn, orange or scarlet; October to November.
Roots: Cordate roots with fine roots sensitive to mechanical intervention.
Demands: Shady to semi-shady, even shady, then with fewer flowers; moderately warm to cool, sensitive to frost, only for protected areas; requires high to extremely high humidity and wind protection; sensitive to urban pollution (air and soil).
Soil: Fresh to moist, withers when dry, acidic to neutral, always well drained, sandy-humic, gravelly-humic or sandy-loamy substrates, not growing much on heavy soil.
Our tip: Cornus nuttallii would like to have nutritious substrates, but care should be taken with fertilisers so the shoots do not go into winter too soft but ripen in autumn well.
Hardiness: Zone 7a