17 Different Types of Dogwood Trees and Shrubs That Will Enhance Landscape with Colorful Foliage

List of Different Varieties of Dogwood Trees and Shrubs:

1. Dogwood Brown
2. Bunchberry Canadian
3. Dogwood Common
4. Dogwood Cornelian Cherry
5. Dogwood Flowering
6. Dogwood Giant
7. Dogwood Himalayan
8. Dogwood Kousa
9. Dogwood Northern Swamp
10. Dogwood Pacific
11. Dogwood Pagoda
12. Dogwood Red Osier
13. Dogwood Roughleaf
14. Dogwood Siberian
15. Dogwood Silky
16. Dogwood Stiff
17. Dogwood Walter’s


Blooming Dogwood:

Components of a Dogwood Flower

The blooming Dogwood showcases compact flowerheads containing four vibrant bracts that blossom during April and May. Late summer and fall witness the emergence of oval-shaped red fruits. homestratosphere.com

The word “Dogwood” first makes its appearance in historical records as a playful term in medieval English literature. Chaucer mentions a “whippletree” in The Canterbury Tales, and centuries later, Shakespeare names a character in Much Ado About Nothing as “Dogberry” – the Elizabethan term for the fruit of common Dogwood varieties.

Dogwoods comprise a diverse group of trees and shrubs found on every continent, excluding Antarctica. Belonging to the Cornus genus, they consist of numerous species and cultivars, each possessing unique characteristics.

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Nurturing a Plant from Its Conception:

Dogwood Cultivation

Rich, moist soil provides an optimal environment for growth. While most Dogwood varieties endure drought conditions, thriving is ensured in wet areas. They are commonly found near streams or other water-rich regions.

Dogwoods necessitate minimal maintenance and care. Adequate moisture and regular pruning are essential due to their tendency to form dense thickets. If root sprouts emerge in unwanted areas, they should be removed. During the winter season, old stems are pruned to facilitate proper growth of new shoots.

Similar to other trees, Dogwoods are susceptible to various diseases, primarily fungal pathogens such as septoria leaf spot and anthracnose.

Different Dogwood Varieties:

Several distinct Dogwood types exist, with some of the popular varieties listed below.

1. Dogwood Brown

Thriving in the shade of low-elevation wetlands in California and southwest Oregon, the Brown Dogwood is a perennial deciduous shrub reaching a maximum height of 15 feet. It displays clusters of white flowers followed by dark blue fruits.

Hardiness Zones according to the United States Department of Agriculture: 4-9.

2. Canadian Bunchberry

This subshrub possesses the ability to clone itself through rhizomes, resulting in rapid spread. Scientifically known as Cornus Canadensis, it is also called Crackerberry, Low Cornel, Canadian Dwarf Cornel, and Bearberry.

Native to North America, northeastern Asia, and Greenland, this Dogwood can grow up to 12 feet tall. It features pointed leaves growing on erect stems in low patches. Greenish flowers with four white or pinkish bracts bloom anytime from May to September. Subsequently, red berries replace the flowers. Canadian Bunchberry thrives in water-rich environments and provides ground cover in damp areas.

Hardiness Zones: 2-7.

3. Dogwood Common

Decorative dogwood ornamental shrubs with red and yellow bark.

Originating from Western Asia and Europe, Cornus sanguinea is primarily cultivated for ornamental purposes. Other names include Bloodtwig Dogwood and European Dogwood.

This deciduous perennial boasts bright yellow stems and can reach a height of 6 to 20 feet. Dense clusters of tiny flowers

adorned with showy bracts grace the Common Dogwood. In autumn, the leaves transform into a deep red hue, while the flowers mature into black berries. Optimal growth is achieved in full sun or partial shade.

The Common Dogwood thrives in well-drained and moist soil, capable of adapting to acidic, alkaline, or neutral conditions. It takes approximately five to 10 years for the tree to reach its maximum height.

Hardiness Zones: 4-7.

4. Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

The ripe and fallen fruit of the Cornelian Cherry can be harvested and utilized in various culinary applications, including the production of liquors, jams, and sauces.

Native to southern Europe and southwest Asia, Cornus mas can grow to a height of 15 to 25 feet. It is commonly planted in residential areas and parks, serving as a hedging, massing, or shade tree. This Dogwood thrives in moist, well-drained alkaline soil, tolerating dry conditions and occasional flooding but not drought.

Cornelian Cherry dogwoods attract numerous bird species. The ovate leaves measure 2 to 4 inches in length and 2.5 inches in width. The flowers, ranging in color from white and yellow to brown and green, bloom from early spring to early fall.

Hardiness Zones: 4-8.

5. Flowering Dogwood

Recognized as the state tree of North Carolina, Cornus florida is native to eastern North America. With over 100 cultivars, each boasting distinct characteristics, Flowering Dogwoods showcase white, pink, or red flowers and reddish-purple foliage in autumn.

These Dogwoods can grow between 15 to 40 feet in height. Blooming in April or May, they feature white bracts and glossy red fruits that attract birds. The leaves are dark green and measure four to eight inches in length.

Pruning affected branches regularly helps prevent dogwood anthracnose. Optimal growth occurs in partial shade with moist, well-drained soil.

Hardiness Zones: 5-9.

6. Giant Dogwood

The Giant Dogwood lives up to its name, towering up to 50 feet and spreading over a vast area. Native to China, Korea, the Himalayas, and Japan, Cornus controversa adorns itself with white summer flowers and black fruits.

Hardiness Zones: 5-8. Flourishes in full sun to partial shade and thrives in rich, acidic soil.

7. Himalayan Dogwood

Cornus capitata is an evergreen tree reaching heights of up to 30 feet. Its flowers, with a pinkish tint, bloom from late spring to early summer.

Native to the low-elevation woodlands of the Himalayas in China, India, and Pakistan, the resilient Himalayan Dogwood thrives in diverse environments.

Hardiness Zones: 7-8.

8. Kousa Dogwood

Originating from eastern Asia, Cornus kousa is a deciduous tree adorned with abundant showy flowers and fruits. It exhibits drought tolerance. Pruning lower branches promotes light exposure, resulting in a striking display of yellow and white spots on the bark.

Kousa Dogwood demonstrates a medium growth rate, increasing in height by 12 to 24 inches annually. It thrives in full sun or partial shade, requiring well-drained and moist soil for optimal health.

The flowers are white, followed by red berries, blooming from May to June. This Dogwood attracts various wildlife species.

Hardiness Zones: 5-8.

9. Northern Swamp Dogwood

The Northern Swamp Dogwood, also known as Gray Dogwood or Panicled Dogwood, is native to eastern North America. Its height ranges from four to 15 feet.

Cornus racemose exhibits orangish-brown bark that fades to gray as the tree ages. It produces white flowers and white fruits. Similar to some other species, it can form suckers. The Northern Swamp Dogwood thrives in both sunny and shady areas with wet or dry conditions.

The grayish-green foliage features sharp-tipped leaves, while the creamy-white flowers have four elliptical petals, creating a star-like shape. Flowering occurs from May to June, and the fruits, predominantly white but occasionally pale blue, appear in August and September. This upright-growing plant boasts oppositely arranged leaves.

Hardiness Zones: 4-8.

10. Pacific Dogwood

Scientifically known as Cornus nuttallii, the Pacific Dogwood is also referred to as Mountain Dogwood or Western Flowering Dogwood. Native to British Columbia and Washington, it typically grows between 15 to 40 feet in height, but exceptional cases can reach 75 feet and live up to 150 years.

The leaves measure three to five inches in length and have a smooth texture, turning a vibrant red in autumn. The small white flowers are a characteristic feature of this Dogwood.

Abundant reddish berries adorn the Pagoda Dogwood, which has smooth, grey bark. It thrives in deep, well-drained soil and attracts pigeons and waxwings with its fruit. Deer also enjoy feeding on its twigs.

Hardiness Zones: 7-9

11. Pagoda Dogwood

The Pagoda Dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus alternifolia, is a native tree of North America. It is also referred to as the Green Osier, as its branches are often used for basket weaving.

Pagoda Dogwood typically grows to a height of 15 to 25 feet, featuring distinctive tiered horizontal branches that resemble a pagoda. The tree produces small, creamy-white flowers that bloom in spring and are followed by bluish-black berries in late summer.

This Dogwood species prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It adds an elegant touch to landscapes with its unique branching structure and attractive foliage.

Hardiness Zones: 3-7.

12. Red Osier Dogwood

Scientifically known as Cornus sericea, the Red Osier Dogwood is a deciduous shrub native to North America. It is also commonly called the Red Willow or Red Twig Dogwood due to its vibrant red branches.

Growing up to 9 feet tall, this Dogwood species displays clusters of small white flowers in spring, followed by white berries in late summer. Its most striking feature, however, is the bright red bark, which provides winter interest in gardens and landscapes.

Red Osier Dogwood thrives in moist and well-drained soil, adapting well to wetland areas. It is often used for erosion control and as a habitat plant for wildlife.

Hardiness Zones: 2-8.

13. Roughleaf Dogwood

The Roughleaf Dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus drummondii, is a shrubby Dogwood species native to North America. It is characterized by its rough-textured leaves and dense clusters of creamy-white flowers.

This deciduous shrub can reach a height of 8 to 10 feet and is often found in woodland areas and along streams or riverbanks. The Roughleaf Dogwood produces blue-black berries that attract birds and other wildlife.

It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. Its adaptability to various soil types makes it a suitable choice for native landscaping and naturalized areas.

Hardiness Zones: 3-8.

14. Siberian Dogwood

Scientifically known as Cornus alba, the Siberian Dogwood is a deciduous shrub native to Siberia and other regions of northern Asia. It is also commonly referred to as Tatarian Dogwood.

This Dogwood species features attractive red or yellow stems that provide winter interest. In spring, it produces clusters of small white flowers, followed by bluish-white berries in summer. The Siberian Dogwood’s oval-shaped leaves turn reddish-purple in autumn.

This hardy shrub tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and can grow in both sun and shade. It is often used for erosion control and as a hedge or mass planting.

Hardiness Zones: 2-7.

15. Silky Dogwood

The Silky Dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus amomum, is a shrub native to North America. It is characterized by its silky-haired leaves and clusters of small white flowers.

Growing up to 10 feet tall, this Dogwood species thrives in wetland areas and along stream banks. It produces bluish-white berries that are attractive to birds. The Silky Dogwood’s leaves turn reddish-purple in autumn, adding to its ornamental value.

It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. This shrub is commonly used for wetland restoration and erosion control.

Hardiness Zones: 3-8.

16. Stiff Dogwood

The Stiff Dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus foemina, is a native shrub of North America. It is also called Swamp Dogwood or Gray Dogwood

due to its preference for moist and swampy environments.

The Stiff Dogwood can reach a height of 6 to 10 feet, forming a dense thicket of branches. It produces clusters of small white flowers in spring, followed by bluish-black berries in summer. The foliage turns purplish-red in the fall, adding to its visual appeal.

This Dogwood species tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including wet and dry soils. It is commonly used for naturalizing landscapes and providing habitat for wildlife.

Hardiness Zones: 4-8.

17. Walter’s Dogwood

Walter’s Dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus walteri, is a deciduous tree native to China. It is a relatively rare species within the Dogwood family.

Growing up to 30 feet tall, this Dogwood features showy clusters of white flowers in spring. The flowers give way to small, black fruits. Walter’s Dogwood is valued for its attractive bark, which peels and reveals a mix of colors, including tan, brown, and gray.

This tree prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It adds a unique and eye-catching element to gardens and landscapes.

Hardiness Zones: 7-9.

These various types of Dogwood trees and shrubs offer a range of characteristics, from vibrant flowers and berries to striking bark and foliage. Whether used for ornamental purposes, erosion control, or wildlife habitat, Dogwoods contribute to the beauty and diversity of landscapes across different regions.



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