Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
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.
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.
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.