13 of the Greatest Flowering Dogwood Varieties

Arguably the crown jewel of the Cornus genus, the flowering dogwood (C. florida) provides loads of magnificence in customary species mode, no cultivars required.

However for much more decorative choices, why not take a look at some cultivated C. florida varieties?

With over 100 cultivars of flowering dogwood out there in numerous sizes, types, and colours, a gardener has fairly the selection to make.

A close up horizontal image of the pink flowers of a flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) growing in the garden.

We hyperlink to distributors that will help you discover related merchandise. In the event you purchase from one in all our hyperlinks, we might earn a fee.

Add assorted progress charges, bloom occasions, and illness resistance to the combo, and that selection turns into even more durable.

That will help you on this journey, you’ll want a information. Not essentially an previous, wizened, and sage information like Gandalf or Yoda, although. I’ll should do, at the least to begin.

With this information to 13 of the very best flowering dogwood cultivars, we’ll be separating the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the non-creamy crop, the extraordinary from the additional abnormal.

At the least, it reveals what I think about to be the 13 finest. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, proper?

Right here’s the lineup:

Earlier than we start, it’s essential to know the form of tree you need, together with the place you propose on planting it.

And for those who want a fast primer on flowering dogwoods and the way to develop them, take a look at our article.

Additionally, I’ll be utilizing the phrases bloom/flower and bract just about interchangeably.

Though they’re modified leaves fairly than true flower petals, the leaf bracts of flowering dogwoods just about perform as flowers, at the least ornamentally.

Okay, time to speak bushes! And shrubs, if we’re being technical.

1. Appalachian Spring

Since cultivars are both deliberately bred or by accident found, they typically have epic, superhero-esque origin tales. ‘Appalachian Spring’ is an ideal instance.

Within the Nineteen Seventies, Discula destructiva – aka Discula or dogwood anthracnose – was found within the US after arriving from origins unknown.

Infecting and severely lowering native Cornus populations, this lethal illness was effectively on its solution to dooming American dogwoods.

A close up vertical image of 'Appalachian Spring' dogwood growing in the garden with light green flowers.
Photograph credit score: JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State College.

However all was not misplaced. In 1990, a sure C. florida specimen was discovered rising wild at Camp David on Catoctin Mountain in Maryland by the College of Tennessee’s Mark Windham.

Wielding a reasonable to sturdy resistance to the D. destructiva fungus, this tree was used within the College’s dogwood breeding program to yield ‘Appalachian Spring’ – a fast-growing, white-bracted cultivar with larger-than-standard fruits, an upright behavior, a peak and unfold of 20 to 30 toes, and an exceptionally sturdy resistance to Discula anthracnose.

In the event you’re on the lookout for a heroically powerful dogwood, ‘Appalachian Spring’ is the variability for you.

2. Cherokee Chief

An ordinary flowering dogwood has white flower bracts, every with a pink notch at its apex.

‘Cherokee Chief’ provides a pleasant inversion of this, with ruby-red flower bracts which can be notched with white. These bracts are additionally white the place their bases meet the true flowers, which attracts the attention.

Found and launched into the commerce by Issac J. Hawkersmith of Winchester, Tennessee, ‘Cherokee Chief’ has a peak and unfold of 15 to 30 toes, in addition to reddish progress on new leaves.

A close up square image of deep pink Cornus florida 'Cherokee Chief' flowers pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Cherokee Chief’

It’s additionally price noting that this tree’s redness is absolutely, actually wealthy, making it a very fashionable red-bracted selection, if not the most in style. It really is the chief.

To buy a ‘Cherokee Chief’ of your individual, head on over to Planting Tree.

3. Cherokee Dawn

A white-flowering selection from Industrial Nursery in Decherd, Tennessee, Cherokee Dawn™ (aka ‘Dawn’) options olive inexperienced leaves, every with yellowish-white variegation that each holds its shade and fails to scorch simply in sizzling circumstances, which is sort of spectacular for a variegated plant.

A close up vertical image of the variegated foliage of a Cherokee Daybreak flowering dogwood growing in the garden.

Moreover, this tree boasts improbable resistance to anthracnose – one other spectacular feat for foliage with variegation.

It has a vigorous progress price and an upright behavior that reaches mature heights and widths of 15 to twenty toes.

Come autumn, the leaf variegation turns into pinkish, whereas the greener components of the foliage flip a formidable pink.

4. Cherokee Princess

One other white-flowering selection, ‘Cherokee Princess’ is solely higher than the usual. Finish of story.

Reaching mature heights and spreads of 20 toes, this cultivar has resistance in opposition to spot anthracnose and canker – two circumstances that may actually mess up a dogwood.

Moreover, it begins its bud break in early spring, even sooner than a daily flowering dogwood does.

Aesthetically, this tree boasts heavier flowering and larger-than-normal blooms that attain 5 inches in diameter.

This, together with the profuse blooming, makes for an excellent, virtually blindingly white cover in springtime.

A close up square image of 'Cherokee Princess' dogwood with white flowers growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Cherokee Princess’

A constant chief in Cornus cultivar evaluations, ‘Cherokee Princess’ actually deserves its royalty.

So as to add ‘Cherokee Princess’ to your assortment of Cornus crown jewels, you should buy one in a #3 container at Nature Hills Nursery.

5. Cherokee Sundown

The ultimate “Cherokee” cultivar on our checklist goes by Cherokee Sundown™… how becoming.

One other introduction from Industrial Nursery, Cherokee Sundown™ is actually the red-bracted model of Cherokee Dawn™.

A close up horizontal image of the flowers of Cornus florida 'Cherokee Sunset' dogwood growing in the garden.

Reaching heights and spreads of 25 toes, this one additionally options resistance in opposition to anthracnose, in addition to a vigorous progress price.

The leaves of this selection exhibit pinkish-red new progress earlier than maturing to inexperienced with yellow-variegated margins, which have an analogous resistance to scorching. In fall, the leaves flip pink to pink to purple.

Don’t get me unsuitable, Cherokee Sundown™ really stands out by itself. However with a Cherokee Sundown™ to go together with your Cherokee Dawn™, you’ll have a one-two punch of vibrant variegation and delightful blooms.

6. Cloud 9

With densely-growing white bracts, ‘Cloud 9’ – typically listed as ‘Cloud 9’ – will put a bloom lover on cloud 9, undoubtedly.

Patented in 1961 by Chase Nursery in Chase, Alabama, ‘Cloud 9’ grows 15 to twenty toes tall and vast.

The aforementioned leaf bracts develop so densely that they overlap with one another, and a gradual progress price makes the plant simpler to take care of in sub-par circumstances.

A square image of a 'Cloud 9' dogwood tree in full bloom growing in the garden.

‘Cloud 9’

Talking of, ‘Cloud 9’ tolerates ice, snow, and the chilly particularly effectively for a C. florida tree.

For gardens simply on the sting of USDA Zone 5 and/or that face significantly powerful winters, ‘Cloud 9’ is the cultivar for you.

Attempting to get on ‘Cloud 9’? Snag one for your self in a #3 container from Nature Hills Nursery.

7. Compacta

Not all cultivar names are these tremendous inventive, imagery-stuffed titles that sound lovely, but present no useful descriptors. A few of them will simply shoot straight with you. Take ‘Compacta,’ as an illustration.

Reaching an itty-bitty mature measurement of 4 toes in peak and width in eight to 10 years, the white-flowering ‘Compacta’ takes its candy time to succeed in a compact measurement.

Its small body makes it excellent for becoming into tight spots the place different dogwoods might not match.

In the event you’re the kind of plant mum or dad that thinks they develop up so quick – too quick – then elevating ‘Compacta’ is the proper match in your nurturing parenting fashion.

8. Plena

Technically, Plena, aka Alba Plena or “Pluribracteata,” is much less of a particular cultivar, and extra of a catch-all time period for all of the white flowering dogwoods with double to semi-double blooms. Sure, you learn that proper.

A close up horizontal image of a Plena dogwood flower pictured in light sunshine with green foliage in the background.
Photograph credit score: JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State College.

Reaching heights and spreads of 20 toes, Plena specimens exhibit as much as eight bracts per flower, making every bloom look kinda rose-like.

And if that wasn’t sufficient, additionally they exhibit resistance to identify anthracnose. Good factor, too – in any other case, there’d be double the bracts for the illness to muck up.

Sadly, Plena specimens are fruitless. Or I suppose it’s lucky, for those who don’t desire a bunch of woodland critters flocking to the drupes.

Creatures as massive as deer and black bears might discover the fruits tasty, so I wouldn’t blame you if this can be a characteristic you go for.

9. Crimson Pygmy

Want a small flowering dogwood with pink bracts, fairly than white ones? Crimson Pygmy®, aka ‘Rutnut’ is your shrub.

Reaching a small peak of 5 to seven toes with a skinny girth of two to 5 toes at maturity, this C. florida cultivar flaunts outstanding rose-red flower bracts, every with white notches at their apex.

Equally to ‘Compacta,’ Crimson Pygmy® can take as much as a decade to succeed in full measurement.

A close up square image of the foliage of a Red Pygmy dogwood shrub growing in the garden.

Crimson Pygmy

Brief, skinny, and splendid: that’s Crimson Pygmy® in a nutshell. It’s out there at Nature Hills Nursery.

10. Spring Grove

Chosen as a seedling from a cemetery in Spring Grove, Cincinnati, ‘Spring Grove’ is exclusive in that its branches produce two to 3 terminal buds, fairly than only one.

A horizontal image of 'Spring Grove' dogwoods in full bloom in a cemetary.
Photograph by David Ohmer, Wikimedia Commons, through CC BY-SA.

Consequently, this cultivar yields a ton of blooms and fruits. The white flowers are additionally fairly massive, reaching ‘Cherokee Princess’ sizes of about 5 inches in diameter.

With a mature peak and unfold of 20 to 30 toes and delightful, reddish-purple foliage in fall, ‘Spring Grove’ brings the aesthetics even when the fruits and flowers aren’t round.

11. Stellar

Again within the late twentieth century, when dogwood anthracnose and dogwood borers had been changing into important issues, many sensible horticulturalists labored tirelessly to search out options.

The outcome? Specimens like these from the Stellar sequence.

Developed by Elvin R. Orton, Jr. within the Nineteen Seventies and launched by Rutgers College within the Nineties, the Stellar sequence of hybrid flowering dogwoods – aka Cornus x rutgersensis – had been created by crossing the ornamentally superior C. florida with the disease-tolerant C. kousa.

This breeding yielded a handful of assorted sterile cultivars, all with a powerful resistance to dogwood anthracnose, dogwood borers, and powdery mildew.

Constellation®, aka ‘Rutcan,’ has white bracts, an upright kind, and a vigorous progress price.

A square image of the white flowers and green foliage of a Constellation dogwood growing in the garden.


It reaches a peak of 20 toes and a ramification of 17 toes, and it’s out there in beginning sizes of 4 to seven toes at Quick Rising Timber.

Stellar Pink® (‘Rutgan’) is a vigorous, pink-bracted selection with a dense, upright rising behavior.

A square image of the pink and green flowers of Stellar Pink dogwood pictured on a soft focus background.

Stellar Pink

It grows to be about 23 toes tall and 18 toes vast, and you’ll find it out there at Nature Hills Nursery.

12. Welchii

With Skittles, you may virtually style the rainbow. And with ‘Welchii,’ you may virtually see it.

A white-bracted cultivar, ‘Welchii’ wields inexperienced leaves with white and pink variegation, and mentioned foliage turns rosy pink to reddish-purple in fall.

Add a yellow solar and a blue sky to the scene, and presto, you’ve acquired ROY G. BIV!

A close up horizontal image of the variegated foliage of a dogwood tree pictured on a soft focus background.
Photograph credit score: JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State College.

Chosen by Mark Welch within the Twenties and launched by Cole Nursery in Ohio round 1930, this tree grows 20 to 30 toes in each peak and width.

And whereas its variegation is top-notch, it sadly lacks the scorch resistance of the opposite variegated cultivars on our checklist. Do not forget that ‘Welchii’ undoubtedly appreciates some shade.

13. Xanthocarpa

The ultimate entry on our checklist, ‘Xanthocarpa’ carves out greatness in an space untouched by the opposite varieties: fruit shade.

A close up horizontal image of the dark red foliage of a 'Xanthocarpa' dogwood growing in the garden.
Photograph credit score: JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State College.

Measuring 15 to twenty toes tall and vast at maturity, ‘Xanthocarpa’ has yellow fruits, fairly than the standard pink ones.

This yellowness additionally extends to the foliage, which is tinged with a fairly yellow-green earlier than turning a beautiful reddish-purple in fall. The flowers are white.

In Historical Greek mythology, golden apples had energy. And within the panorama, yellow Cornus fruits wield an analogous would possibly, at the least aesthetically.

It’s a Dogwood Smorgasbord!

Symbolically, anyway – you wouldn’t need to eat these crops. However hey, at the least they give the impression of being good!

A close up horizontal image of a single pink 'Cherokee Chief' flower pictured on a soft focus background.

These 13 sorts of flowering dogwoods, whereas undeniably superior, are just the start.

Have enjoyable with these, and I want you luck in looking for varieties past what I’ve shared on this checklist, if that’s what you’d love to do! It’s laborious to discover a unhealthy one, that’s for certain.

Nonetheless have questions? Did I miss any cultivars that deserved a spot within the high 13? Go to the feedback part under!

To uncover extra about dogwoods, feast your eyeballs on these unhealthy boys subsequent:

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles