Cornus

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Dogwoods - now you're barking up the right tree!

The Cornus or Dogwood genus of trees and shrubs has family members from both North America and Asia. The Dogwood most commonly grown in NZ hails from North America and is known as Cornus florida. In this case "florida" actually means flowering rather than place of origin. The Americans love this tree so much it is the State tree for both Virginia and Missouri. Cornus kousa which hails from Japan is becoming more popular in NZ and Cornus kousa Moonlight is a firm favourite with the team here at Wairere.

All Dogwoods are deciduous and frost hardy with the exception of Cornus capitata which is semi evergreen and only tolerates light frost.

To get the best from Dogwoods you really must be able to give them the conditions they thrive on. They require a sunny spot with no more than the lightest shade plus deep nourishing soil that is not too wet in winter. Dogwoods love a cold winter and hot dry summer. For those who have warm winters (Waikato North) then try Cornus Eddies White Wonder which has been bred to cope with warmer temperatures. If you do not provide Cornus with the correct conditions they can become susceptible to anthracnose disease which is a fungus disease typified by brown to tan irregular spots and blotches on the leaves. This can be treated with fungicide but prevention with the correct cultural requirements is really the answer.

Dogwoods flower in spring, the "flower" is made up of four bracts that surround a small central dome. With some varieties showy "strawberry" like fruits follow the flowers. All Dogwoods should have excellent autumn colour and this is probably their most highly valued feature. Look for variegated varieties which have fabulous foliage interest throughout spring, summer and autumn.

*In case you are curious the name Dogwood is said to have come from the fact that the bark from the tree was used to make up a solution for bathing mangy dogs! There is also the legend that the wood from the Dogwood was used to make the cross Jesus was crucified on and ever since that time the tree has had 4 floral bracts to represent the cross with a red centre to represent the blood of Christ. The tree will also never grow large enough to provide timber for another cross.

Cornus or Dogwood, fact or fiction, no matter which, is always a worthy choice for a special specimen tree or group planting.

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Picture of Cornus Spring Song L/W
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Large rosy pink flower bracts put on a display in spring adding softness and colour to the spring garden. The new foliage is a bronze green shade and has vibrant autumn tones prior to leaf fall. Happiest in a sunny position in nice rich acid soil. Deciduous. Est. 10yr. growth.

 

Colour: Pink
Habit: Upright
Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m

Cornus Spring Song L/W

Current Stock Height: 60/70 cm  ? 

Container: pb18  ? 

$44.99

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Picture of Cornus Stokes Pink
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Dogwood. Masses of deep pink flower bracts appear in spring followed by red strawberry fruits that birds love. The green summer foliage colours well prior to leaf fall. Plant in a sunny spot in nice rich acid soil for best results. Deciduous. Est. 10yr. growth.

Generally 'Dogwoods' need a nice cool winter to do well, 'Stoke's Pink' is more adaptable than some other cultivars and can cope with warmer climates.

 

Colour: Pink
Habit: Upright
Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 4m x 3m

Cornus Stokes Pink

Current Stock Height: 90/100 cm  ? 

Container: pb18  ? 

$49.99

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Picture of Cornus Stolonifera Flaviramea
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A distinctive form of Dogwood that is valued for the thicket of yellow stems that look their best when bare in winter. The summer foliage is dark green and colours well in autumn. The late spring flowers are white. Hardy and easy to grow. Great for decorative floral work. Deciduous.


 

Colour: White
Habit: Spreading
Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 3m

Cornus Stolonifera Flaviramea

Current Stock Height: 50/70 cm  ? 

Container: pb8  ? 

$24.99

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Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm