The genus Cornus (Cornus) belongs to the Cornus family (Cornaceae) and comprises more than 50 species, which occur predominantly in temperate latitudes, but also in subtropics. They are spread from North America over Europe to East Asia. The cornel cherry (Cornus mas) and the blood red dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) are native to the United States. They both like to grow on calcareous and nutrient-rich loamy soils. The blood-red Hartriegel is somewhat more adaptable and grows also in Auwäldern in the north-German lowlands, while the Kornelkirsche is somewhat warm-loving and more light-needy. It also tolerates quite as much soil moisture.
Because of their numerous advantages such as beautiful blossoms, pretty fruits, bright autumn colours and decorative tree bark, the dogwoods are one of the most important tree species for garden design. They usually form medium-sized shrubs or small trees, but there is also a dodgy growing species, the carpet dogwood (Cornus canadensis), which covers the ground and is only a few centimeters high. The opposite leaves are usually deciduous and show a bright yellow to intense red colour in autumn, depending on the species. Among the most beautiful flowering shrubs are undoubtedly the floral dogwoods (Cornus kousa, Cornus florida and Cornus nutallii as well as various hybrids). Although they form inconspicuous flowers, they are usually surrounded by four large, white or pink bracts. Large red, raspberry-like fruits form from them. The most beautiful rind is the white dogwood (Cornus alba), especially the cultivar ‘Sibirica’ with intense red shoots. The yellow bark colour of the Cornus sericea, especially the variety ‘Flaviramea’, is evident.
While the latter species are very adaptable and robust, the floral dogwoods need a sandy, permeable, humus- and nutrient-rich fresh soil if possible. They also do not like very hot, air-dry locations, but prefer shady, humid and somewhat sheltered places.
Flower dogwoods are best planted in a single position so that they can freely unfold their beautiful, projecting crowns with often horizontally protruding side branches. They are also suitable for group planting, fit well into Japanese gardens and are popular as rhododendron companions. The carpet dogwood, which also forms white high leaves, is a good, tolerable ground cover for humus-rich soils in rhododendron and forest gardens. Almost all other species are competitive enough to be integrated into free-growing hedges. The white dogwood in particular is often used in public green areas because of its lack of demand. The native species are in demand in the natural garden and also as bird protection shrubs in the open landscape. The cornel cherry is also a popular wild fruit – the stone fruits contain a lot of vitamin C and can be easily processed into jam or juice.
Cutting Of Dogwood Flowers
If possible, most flower bars should not be cut at all. They form a beautiful crown by nature and show a good flower set. Only the strongly growing, large-flowered hybrid ‘Venus’ can occasionally be pruned a little, as it grows rather sparse and often only shows itself weakly.Regularly in spring you should plant the varieties of the white dogwood as well as the yellowwood dogwood on the stick, as the new shoots show the most intensive colouring. In addition, the plants form rooting soil shoots with which they can occupy larger areas if they are not stopped.
The white dogwood and the yellow-wood dogwood can be easily multiplied by the pinwood, but the rooted ground shoots can also be used as cuttings. The propagation of the varieties of the flower bar is usually carried out in the nursery by grafting. The native game species can be reproduced by sowing, but they often germinate after frost.
Diseases and pests
Occasionally powdery mildew occurs, but usually does not cause major damage. Anthracnosis is a problematic fungal disease of the North American flower bar (Cornus florida) in particular. They can be recognized by sunken, dark leaf spots. It is hardly curable and occurs particularly in unfavourable, hot locations on heavy, impermeable soils. Lice can be removed from smaller plants by spraying them with vegetable oil.
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I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.