WSU Clark County Extension

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Flowering Dogwood

Scientific name: Cornus florida

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:20 ft
Width:20 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Pink
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Flowering Dogwood is a popular small garden tree grown for its spring flowers, a plethora of different cultivars, and relatively problem free habit.

This tree has a spreading habit and a low branching form. It can be limbed up to allow for mowing beneath the tree. The leaves are set in an opposite arrangement and have notable 6-7 paired leaf veins that run the entire length of the leaves. While the leaves are green in the summer they do turn a nice reddish color in the fall for a short period of time before they are shed for the season. Flowers are typically pink or white, depending upon the cultivar.

Dogwood likes well-drained sites that are high in organic matter. During the hot summer months it is best to water the tree 2-3 times during the summer to keep it healthy. Acid soils are preferred.

The principal leaf disorder is dogwood anthracnose (caused by Discula destructiva) which leaves the characteristic spots on the leaves. With severe infestations the tree can be become severely infected. The best protection is to plant this tree in a sunny, windy location where the foliage can dry out in the spring as the leaves emerge from their winter dormancy.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234