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Giant Dogwood

Cornus controversa

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Giant Dogwood (Cornus controversa) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

Giant Dogwood in bloom

Giant Dogwood in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Giant Dogwood (Cornus controversa) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

Giant Dogwood flowers

Giant Dogwood flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  50 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b


Lovely white flowers in spring; large tree with gracefully layered branches and wide, rounded form make this tree an excellent specimen; attractive red fruit in late summer turns deep purple, good fall color

Ornamental Features

Giant Dogwood features showy clusters of white flowers held atop the branches in mid spring. It has dark green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding dark red in the fall. It produces deep purple berries from early to late fall. The warty gray bark and green branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Giant Dogwood is a 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. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Giant Dogwood is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Giant Dogwood will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 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 60 years or more.

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 foliage 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 species is not originally from North America.

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