Cornus controversa is a striking tree with tiered habit and heads of creamy-white flowers in May leading to it’s nickname The Wedding Cake Tree. The leaves of Cornus controversa Pagoda are a vibrant, dark green in spring and summer before turning a rich, plum-purple in autumn. The shrub is robust and can be seen growing to 50 feet in the national collection of Cornus at Newby Hall Garden.
Cornus mas forms a large shrub or small spreading tree up to 15 feet tall with shiny, dark green leaves which turn reddish purple in autumn. It is grown mainly for its profusion of tiny golden yellow flowers which are borne in rounded clusters on bare stems before the leaves develop, giving a cloud of welcome winter colour. The flowers are followed in summer by unusual oblong shaped, fleshy, bright red, edible berries, hence the common name cornelian cherry.
The extensive family of ‘Cornels’ or ‘Dogwoods’ ranges from creeping shrubs to tall elegant trees but the majority are 6-10 feet high when mature and can add to most ornamental garden situations.
Other varieties listed by the RHS include;
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Variegata’ the red barked dogwood that like damp
Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’ a large shrub with spreading branches
Cornus angustata and Cornus ‘Ascona’
Cornus ‘Constellation’ (Stellar Series)
Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’
Cornus florida ‘Rainbow’ (v)
Cornus ‘Kenwyn Clapp’
Cornus kousa ‘Big Apple’
Cornus kousa ‘Boldre Beauty’
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘China Girl’ ‘Milky Way’ ‘Wisley Queen’
Cornus kousa ‘Miss Satomi’ ‘National, ‘Radiant Rose’
Cornus mas ‘Aurea’ (v)
Cornus mas ‘Variegata’ (v)
Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’
Cornus nuttallii ‘Monarch’ medium tree needing good soil.
Cornus ‘Ormonde’ ‘Porlock’
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ Common dogwood