Pagoda Dogwood, A Truly Elegant Garden Tree

pagoda dogwoodVirtues: We love pagoda dogwood for its elegant form and small size, which makes it a great specimen tree for a small garden space. This ornamental spring-flowering tree attracts birds with its late-summer fruit and it can host the larvae of the spring azure butterfly.

Common name: Pagoda dogwood

Botanical name: Cornus alternifolia

Flowers: Small white flowers appear in clusters in late spring. Flowers of pagoda dogwood are fragrant. In late summer, small fruits turn from green to red to showy bluish black. These quickly drop off or are eaten by birds, but the fruits’ stems remain on the tree and turn bright red.

Foliage: Dark green, narrow oval leaves. Pagoda dogwood has yellowish or reddish fall foliage that is not particularly striking.

Habit: Pagoda dogwood is a small, often multi-trunked tree growing about 25 feet tall, with an asymmetrical, rounded crown. The branches are very horizontal, giving this ornamental tree an elegant, interesting form even in winter.

Season: Spring for flowers; year-round for overall shape.

Origin: Eastern half of North America

How to grow pagoda dogwood: Cornus alternifolia prefers moist acidic soil and part shade. It will tolerate full sun if it receives regular water and the climate is not very hot. Provide shelter from wind, heavy snow and ice.

Image: Distant Hill
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