Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Habit: An understory tree reaching about 20-25 feet in height, Flowering Dogwood is one of the best flowering species native to the eastern US. Planted alone in the open, Flowering Dogwood will form a somewhat rounded tree with a flat topped crown. As an understory, branches are longer and wispier as they reach into the canopy.
Color: The straight species of Cornus florida grows beautiful white blooms (which are technically bracts) in the spring. If you’ve ever seen a Flowering Dogwood in bloom, you understand why it is clearly one of the top native ornamentals. In autumn leaves turn a red to reddish purple and the bright red fruits provide birds and other animals with plenty of food.
Culture: The best place to plant a Flowering Dogwood is in a slightly shady spot that does not become overly dry in the summer. Perfers acidic, well-drained soil. Susceptible to anthracnose and powdery mildew, which typically won’t kill the tree but will be unsightly. Follow the planting advice to minimize these problems.