Pink flowering dogwood is this week’s Plant of the Week. This small tree for shade gardens is one of our arborist’s favorite trees. Doug Grimm is also a big fan of this tree. While pink flowering may relate to either Cornus florida or Cornus kousa, they both have excellent cultivars for our area.
Either way, they are small trees, growing 15 to 25 feet tall and wide. They have glossy green leaves and gray to brown, scaly bark. They both bloom starting in April and going into May. However, the Kousa dogwood has leaf like calyxes that make it appear that they bloom much longer.
The actual flowers are green and not showy. Surrounding the flowers are pink sepals, which are like petals, but do nothing more that guide insects to the flowers. It is these showy sepals that make dogwoods so attractive.
Pink flowering dogwood can be planted anywhere that is protected from late afternoon sun, in Zones 5 to 8.
This tree can be used as a focal point for an early spring shade garden, or as an understory tree. In a woodland garden, mix it with redbuds and ironwood, and shade loving perennials.
I have seen few if any insect pests on the trees we have here. They do tend to get powdery mildew in wet years, starting in early summer. There is little you can do for this problem.
Dogwood is one of my favorite smaller trees. The deep green leaf color with a beautiful spring flower make it demand attention in any setting – Nick Haedt, Certified Arborist at Grimm’s Gardens
Find pink flowering dogwoods and more at Grimm’s Gardens