Flowering Dogwood

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The Flowering Dogwoods, including the Cornus kousa, florida, nuttallii or rutgersensis, are large deciduous bushes that we appreciate for their long flowering period but also often for their beautiful autumn colours. One of the most famous is the Cornus kousa Satomi, essential in a small garden for the beauty of its large pink flowers and its flamboyant foliage at the end of the season. The beautiful 'flowers' of these dogwoods, ranging from white to almost red depending on the varieties, are composed of large bracts mimicking flat flowers arranged around a cluster of much more discreet true flowers. They are followed by the formation of fleshy and edible fruits that resemble red strawberries.

These dogwoods, native to Asia and North America, are generally hardy enough to withstand our winters, but for example, the Cornus florida cannot be grown in regions where late frosts are common in April and early May. Depending on the species, they are easily grown in good clayey garden soil without excessive limestone, like the Cornus kousa chinensis, or they require humus-rich, acidic, fresh and fertile soil. Some attractive varieties of Cornus add a superb variegated foliage of green and white (Cornus kousa Samaritan) or green and yellow to their flowering. Some, with a small growth, adapt well to container cultivation on the terrace or balcony. Combine Florida, Kousa, and Nuttallii dogwoods with azaleas, pear trees, and rhododendrons. The combination with evergreen species, such as holly, laurel, choisya, nandina, and camellia, enhances the flowering. Tip: At the end of summer, spread potassium sulfate at the base to promote and revive autumn colouring.

 

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