Cornus florida L.f.

Common White Dogwood

E North America Wide-spread SHRUB or small tree to 8 m or so tall. LEAVES to about 15 cm long, more or less ovate, whitish hairy below, vein pairs 5-7, brightly coloured in autumn in red, orange or purple. FLOWERS small, green, in a head about 1 cm wide; spring. BRACTS 4, each about 4 cm long and with a notch at the tip, white to pink or red. FRUIT about 1 cm wide, scarlet and with a persistent calyx.

f. pluribracteata Rehder, Double-flowered Dogwood. This form encompasses a range of different plants in which the bracts are more than 4 and mostly 6-8, exceptionally large and sometimes with smaller bracts in the centre.They tend to flower later and remain in bloom longer but they do not produce fruits. Interesting variants have been cloned under different names.

E North America.

C. nuttallii Aud., Mountain Dogwood, from W North America is occasionally grown; it is similar but the 4-6 large bracts, each over 7 cm long, are not notched at the tip.

VIC 'Curramundi', Mt Macedon.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Cornaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Cornus florida 'Cherokee Chief'

Floral bracts deep rosy pink. Discovered by Ike Hawkersmith, Winchester, USA, and int. to commerce in 1956-7.

Cornus florida 'D376-15'

A new introduction marketed in the USA as 'Red Beauty'.

Cornus florida 'First Lady'

Fast growing plant. Leaves variegated green and yellow, changing to maroon and pink. Floral bracts white. Int. by the Boyd Nsy, McMinnville, USA, in 1969-70.

Cornus florida 'Pendula'

Branches pendulous. Raised at Meehan's Nsy, Philadelphia, USA, before 1880.

Cornus florida 'Rubra'

Bracts in shades of pink to red. The range of colouring in this natural form allows for the selection of appealing clones, 'Cherokee Chief' being one of these. Syn. f. rubra (Weston) Schelle.

Cornus florida 'Spring Song'

Floral bracts deep pinkish red.

Cornus florida 'Welch's Junior Miss'

New foliage coppery. Flowers red, fading to pink, with a white centre and small white tips. Discovered in 1957 in the wild by C.H. Welch of Welch Bros,Wilmar, Alabama, USA, and int. 1968. Syn. 'Junior Miss'.

Cornus florida 'Welchii'

Slow growing and bushy. Leaves marbled in shades of green and with creamy white and pink edging, purplish in autumn. Selected c. 1920 by nurseryman, Mark Welch, and int. c. 1930 by Cole Nsy, Painesville, Ohio, USA. Syn. 'Tricolor'.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Cornales
family       Cornaceae
genus        Cornus L.