For most gardeners, the dogwood flowering season is over(Cornus florida cvs.). However, there are truly wonderful surprises that await those who visit the nursery now and in the next few weeks. These are the dogwoods that bloom later, extending the season by at least a month, longer if they blossoms are not finished with a heat wave. Cornus kousa and it’s relations and the evergreen C. angustata(was once known as a cv/forma of C. kousa) and C. capitata are just coming into their own floral grandeur. These are trees of the highest quality, recommended without any hesitation. They are truly spectacular and 4 season performers, increasing in beauty each year as they mature. You get a strong growing plant that is vigorous(not like C. florida which more often than not, struggles in our climate, only all too often failing eventually after repeated efforts to try and grow it. (there are a few cvs. of this I do grow, but for the most part, recommend others instead since they are easy care and not fussy. C. kousa has many merits. It has glorious and profuse flowering in late spring. Very often the blooms are so profuse as to almost hide the leaves underneath. They ALL show up since they are produced in quantity on horizontal branches which can arch heavily under the weight of the blooms! Summer you get red berries which hang. Think of large raspberries hanging from these branches. Fall gives us spectacular autumnal tints to foliage and usually the fruits are still hanging on the tree when the leaves color up. And quiet winter shows delicate branching in tiered growth, the main branches hold the twigs on architectural tiers which catch the sparkle of dew, raindrops, or frost crystals showing up as thousands of mini Christmas lights all over the tree. Additionally, the old bark on the trunk begins to flake off in pathes, showing more colors as well. Think monsoon when it comes to watering needs. And give them a good start with good soil that is well drained. If your soil drains poorly, then plant them very high on a broad mound or berm so the roots do not drown from a high water table. C. capitata, and C. angustata (think of this one as an evergreen C. kousa!) and a couple other less common species, cvs. hold their leaves in winter, so those that complain about a wonderful accent, specimen tree losing its leaves will have their basic need satisfied here with these. C. angustata also has star shaped flower bracts(not petals), and that same wonderful horizontal growth habit. C. capitata has more medium to duller green foliage, but has yellow to ivory colored flowers. Also reddish colored fruits. The habit is less horizontal but still attractive. The cv. Mountain Moon is spectacular! It gives a very lush appearance in its medium to dark green shiny leaves, backed with almost silver gray and then you get very large full flowers in ivory, and they are profuse and very showy. C. Summer Passion has star like flowers Similar to those of C. kousa, but they are pristine white. Additionally, this form has many other merits. It’s evergreen leaves turn purple in winter, the new growth is copper, and the branching habit is upright main stems, and all the branchlets cascade so the blossoms actually face the viewer! The leaves tend to be a bit wavy and the textural effect is like a Ficus benjamina, but it is a wonderful dogwood that blooms! There are other forms and seedling selections if you look persistently, all are nice. Ultimate dimension given for most dogwoods is 20 ft tall x 20 ft wide when mature, which may take many years. These are slow to moderate growers, gaining in beauty as they mature. I prefer these since they are not fussy, do not get disease(dogwood anthracnose). More sun -= more flowers and you have to water them more as well, but the display of blooms for over a month is well worth the effort!
Come to see them now at the nursery and judge for yourself.
You can also see some companion plants in bloom and others with wonderful foliage colors that complement or contrast very effectively in the garden/landscape.