Flowering dogwood: An excellent landscape choice

The white dogwood is very versatile, growing in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. (Submitted photo)
The white dogwood is very versatile, growing in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. (Submitted photo)

The flowering dogwood is an excellent landscape choice for all four seasons and is a favorite in many yards and gardens. White "flowers" show their beauty in spring, the foliage turns a vibrant red-purple in fall, and glossy red fruits attract winter songbirds for the enjoyment of all.

This tree is a great option to plant near utility lines, next to larger buildings, or near patios. It also offers nice contrast when planted along with pink or red dogwoods with larger evergreens in the background.

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

The white dogwood is very versatile, growing in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It prefers moist conditions.

Blooms April-May, with distinctive white bracts (modified leaves) surrounding a smaller insignificant flower.

Produces glossy red fruit eaten by birds.

Provides great fall color, with leaves turning red-purple.

Grows in a rounded shape.

Is a good choice for planting near utility lines, larger buildings, or patios.

Features dark green leaves that are 4-8 inches long and oval or ovate in shape.

There are nearly 100 cultivars of flowering dogwood. Selected cultivars by category include the following:

Large flowers

Barton -- Good white cultivar for Southern gardens.

Cloud 9 -- Reaches a height of only 15 feet with a 20-foot spread. Produces many white flowers at an early age.

Junior Miss -- Large pink bracts that are resistant to spotting.

Spring Grove -- Selection from Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Heavy producer of flowers and fruit because it sets up to three buds at each shoot tip.

Springtime -- Large flowers and good winter bud hardiness.

Pink or red flowers

C. Florida rubra -- This tree is an old favorite with pink flowers and red fall foliage.

Cherokee Chief -- Has rose red to ruby red flowers and red fall color. Reaches a height of 20 feet with a similar spread.

Cherokee Sunset -- Deep pink to light red flowers and variegated yellow and green foliage. Leaves turn red in fall.

Red Beauty -- Red bract color on a compact plant.

Royal Red -- Dark red bract color to go with bright red new leaves that turn again in the fall.

Variegated foliage

Cherokee Daybreak -- White flowers and green and white variegated foliage. Resistant to leaf scorch.

Cherokee Sunset -- Deep pink to light red flowers and variegated yellow and green foliage. Leaves turn red in fall.

First Lady -- Leaves variegated yellow and white. Flowers have white bracts.

Wenchi -- This variegation is green and white with hints of pink. Does get leaf scorch in full sun. White bracts.

The showy part of the dogwood flower is not the flower at all but the bracts! The true flower is greenish-yellow and insignificant. The bracts are white and about 2 inches long and are effective for 10 days to two weeks in April or early May. Flower buds are flat and biscuit-shaped.

4-H information

There are 4-H clubs for Garland County young people who are 5 to 19 years old. For more information on all the fun 4-H activities that are available, call Sara Jackson at 501-623-6841 or email her at [email protected].

Master Gardener information

Master Gardener meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at the Elks Lodge. They're open to the public and guests are welcome. For more information, call Arin Shaffer, horticulture agent, at 501-623-6841 or email him at [email protected].

EHC information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC, call Alison Crane, family and consumer sciences agent, at 501-623-6841 or email her at [email protected].

photo Jimmy Driggers - Submitted photo

Upcoming Events