Flowering dogwoods offer spectacular impact in the spring garden with their large “flowers” and later, in the fall, with their foliage color. The flower petals are actually bracts (leaves) that frame the true flowers, which are small.
The western dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is a native to Oregon. Awesome specimens can be spotted while driving down the highways and roads in the woodlands and forests on the west side of the Cascades and Sierras from British Columbia to southern California. A transplanted native dogwood seldom thrives in the cultivated landscape so a nursery selection is the best choice.
The flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, is a lovely garden addition as a focal point or as an understory tree. Dogwoods provide a graceful beauty with their tiered, horizontal branching form.
Varieties of dogwood to consider:
Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ is a cross between Cornus florida and Cornus nuttallii resulting in an attractive tree with large white flowers (bracts). It is fast growing to 15-20′ with an equal spread. Choose a well-drained site with full to partial sun. Blooms appear in late spring with a possibility of a second bloom later in mid-summer.
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Brave’ has deep rose reddish flowers (bracts), and red berry clusters in fall. It grows to 20-25’ high and wide.