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Cornus florida

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: low, medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, sand

Height: 15'-30'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white, pink

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, fall interest, medicinal, poisonous, shade garden plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Flowers of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
  • Flowers of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
  • Flowers of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
  • Fall foliage of  Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
  • Flowers of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Cornus florida

Also known as:

flowering dogwood

,

dogwood

Scientific Synonyms:

Cynoxylon floridum

Description

Synonymous with springtime in the eastern US, flowering dogwood is considered the most beautiful of our flowering trees. Branches are low and almost horizontally-spreading, giving this tree its graceful appearance. Its true flowers are light green and insignificant, but they are surrounded by four very showy, white bracts. The roundish fruit of Cornus florida are berry-like, scarlet red and attractive. Its green leaves change to stunning shades red in fall. The bark of mature trees is deeply cracked and resembles a crocodile hide. All in all, the flowering dogwood provides year round visual interest.

Cultivation

Flowering dogwood can be found growing in open woods, thickets and along streams and river beds. This species will tolerate full sun where summers are cool, but is best suited for partial shade in rich, acidic, moist soil. Mature specimens are fairly drought resistant. An application of an azalea-type fertilizer in spring and a layer of mulch to keep the root system cool and moist is recommended. Bloom time will vary between March and May. Zones 5-9

Propagation

Propagate from seed immediately after collecting or stratify and sow in spring.

Additional Notes

The red fruit of the dogwood are poisonous to humans but beloved by many species of birds and squirrels. The hardwood has been used for tools and crafts, the roots have been used to make red dye, and the bark has been used for traditional remedies such as a quinine substitute for the prevention of Malaria Infection by dogwood anthracnose can be a problem and has contributed to the diminishing of flowering dogwoods in the wild. This species is a larval host to the Spring Azure butterfly.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: ME
  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Threatened: VT

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Cornales
Family Cornaceae Dogwood family
Genus Cornus dogwood
Species Cornus florida flowering dogwood