Does your customer want to plant the Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttalli? Frequently, Cornus X Eddies White Wonder is planted as a substitute. If so, they must love the large creamy white bracts in spring and adding a native plant element to their landscape. However, there are some other hybrids that may add those desired elements to the landscape, without the awkward, gawky growth habits or occasional disease issues.
Here are three to consider:
Aurora® Flowering Dogwood (Cornus x 'Rutban') is a vigorous, upright growing, tree resulting from a cross between C. florida and C. kousa. The dark green foliage turns bright red in the fall. White bracts with a velvety texture, ages to creamy white, appear in mid-spring. The bracts are so dense, the foliage nearly disappears. It is disease resistant. They grow best in full sun or part shade, rich well-drained soil and reliable moisture. They are one of the Stellar® series from Rutgers.
Cornus kousa x nuttallii 'KN4-43', better known as Starlight® Flowering Dogwood, is an upright, densely branched tree with an oval crown. The large, white bracts appear in late spring, about a week before 'Venus'. Strawberry like fruit develops in the fall. It prefers part shade to full sun and well drained, acid soils, rich in organic matter. It is nearly free of insect and diseases. It is one of the Jersey Star® series from Rutgers.
Cornus (kousa x nuttallii) x kousa ‘KN 30-8' is a complex hybrid best known as Venus® Flowering Dogwood. This vigorous tree has the flowers of its C. nuttalli parent and the structure and healthiness of its C. kousa parent. In late spring, it is covered with extra-large creamy white bracts, which can last a few weeks. Red fruit appears in the fall. It has a nice, upright oval shape. The deep green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall. It is one of the Jersey Star® series from Rutgers. They grow best in full sun, a well-drained, organically rich, soil.
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