Common Name: Variegated Flowering Dogwood
Origin: E. & C. North America
Notable Feature: This Variegated Form is noted for its olive green leaves that are edged creamy white.
Habit: A small, low-branched tree with horizontally tiered branching that offers an attractive silhouette admired in all seasons, especially in winter. This deciduous, understory tree, usually with a flat-topped crown, can reach up to 20 feet in height with an equal spread.
Flower: Clusters of perfect (bisexual), small, yellow-green flowers are surrounded by 4 large, very showy, white bracts. The blossoms, 2 to 3” in diameter, appear before the leaves emerge making them highly visible on the tree.
Foliage: Olive green foliage displays a creamy white margin and is opposite, simple, and 3 to 5” long with deep veining. Leaves are overlaid with purplish red tones in fall.
Fruit: Glossy red fruit (drupe), ¼ to ½” wide, occur in clusters of 3 to 5; ripen in the fall and quickly enjoyed by birds and other forms of wildlife.
Bark: Broken into square-like, greyish brown blocks that are reminiscent of an alligator’s hide; ornamental especially in winter.
Interesting Fact: The dogwood cultivars with variegated leaves are happiest in acidic, well-drained soil, and partial shade. Starting in the 1970s dogwoods began a period of decline as many became infected by fungal diseases – most notably dogwood anthracnose. Dogwoods seemed destined to disappear. Measures to combat this loss included close attention to cultural conditions, disease treatment, and the breeding of disease-resistant cultivars. Now survivors and replacements for lost trees grace our landscapes.