Cornus florida: White Flowering Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus florida ‘Weaver’s White’
 Cornus florida: White Flowering Dogwood
Common name: White Flowering Dogwood
Flowers: Handsome large white bracts at end of stems1
Fruit or cones: Glossy red drupe7
Height & Width: 30' x 20’7
Type: Deciduous13
Wetland indicator category**: FACU14
Habit: Low branched tree,with horizontal spreading lines 
with layering producing a low topped crown7
Texture: Medium7
Growth rate: Initially slow, medium when established1
Light: Partial shade, full shade can be acceptable1
Moisture: Well drained soil7
Soil: Slightly acidic7
Zones: 57
Origin: Northern Florida7

Features: This native tree has year round pleasurable characteristics. Flowers appear April to May before the leaves develop allowing the viewer see a dotted white landscape. The bark has the texture of an alligator’s back adding interest to the winter landscape, as well as having red drupes fruiting in the fall to add to this. These drupes also attract native birds increasing the biodiversity of the surrounding area. Weaver’s White is a cultivar that performs especially well in the Deep South with notably larger foliage and more colorful white bracts than most other Cornus cultivars7.

Siting: It can be a very adaptable plant tolerating full sun and moist conditions, however it performs best in partial shade and well drained soils. When planted in water laden soils or in inadequately watered full sun areas the tree may die7. 

Care: Plant the tree in the hole so that the root flare is visible at the soil surface. The hole should be only as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide as the root ball 11,15. At planting, water the root ball daily with two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for two weeks, every other day for two months and then weekly until established15. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk11,15.

Pests: This species is susceptible to a number of pests like the borer and other petal and leaf spots. It can be noted that symptoms of disease and insects appear when the plant is already being stressed by undesirable conditions7.

Author: Alexander Smolka