Cornus Alba or White Dogwood

Cornus alba

White Dogwood



White dogwood is no longer classed in the genus Cornus; the scientific name by which it is known today is Thelycrania alba. However, it is still listed in catalogues under its old name. A native of Siberia, Manchuria and Korea, it is shrub growing to a height of 3 m (10 ft). The flowers are yellowish-white or creamy and arranged in flat terminal heads (cymes) about 4 to 8 cm (1-½ to 3 in) across. They appear in late June. The leaves are about 4 to 8 cm (1-½ to 3 in) long, dark green above, bluish below. The fruits are white, generally blue-tinged drupes. Dogwood is particularly valued as an ornamental shrub because of its blood-red branches. Well known is the variety sibirica, with brilliant crimson winter shoots and its form variegata (syn. Elegantissima) which has the leaves edged golden-yellow or else entirely yellow. Noteworthy, also, is the variety kesselringii with blackish-brown twigs and leaves that are dark brown at first, later turning brownish green, and `Spaethii’, the best golden variegated variety.

Dogwoods are propagated by means of seeds, which are sown in the autumn but must first be stratified, and also by means of soft, half-ripened cuttings. They generally require a fairly heavy loamy and moist soil, and are tolerant of shade. They are chiefly planted in groups or in rows and are particularly attractive in winter with their bare, red-coloured branches.

30. April 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Cornus Alba or White Dogwood


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