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Red Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida 'var. rubra'

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Red Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida 'var. rubra') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Cornus florida var. rubra flowers

Cornus florida var. rubra flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Red Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida 'var. rubra') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Cornus florida var. rubra in bloom

Cornus florida var. rubra in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  35 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Description:

A simply breathtaking small specimen tree when in bloom, featuring large yet dainty pinkish-red blooms in spring and excellent wide-spreading form; extremely fussy, requires rich, well-drained acidic soil and adequate precipitation, best with some shelter

Ornamental Features

Red Flowering Dogwood features showy clusters of pink flowers with pink bracts held atop the branches in mid spring. It has forest green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding brick red in the fall. It produces red berries from early to late fall. The warty gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Red Flowering Dogwood is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a stunning habit of growth which features almost oriental horizontally-tiered branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Red Flowering Dogwood is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Red Flowering Dogwood will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 35 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Shade 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features