Dogwood in Bloom

As the native redbuds (Cercis canadensis) blooms begin to fade, the flowering dogwood trees in my neighborhood (Cornus florida) have burst upon the scene with the best display I’ve seen in years.  Native dogwoods have taken a beating since the mid-seventies when that dreaded disease, Discula destructiva, better known to us as Dogwood Anthracnose, made an introduction into the U.S.  So it’s quite nice to see the spectacular display of dogwoods this spring.

Recently, my neighbor invited me to behold his magnificent old dogwood with its profusion of blooms bathed in the first rays of morning sun. The branches of this mighty tree have never been trimmed. The bottom limbs stretch close to the ground and the peak of the tree fills the view from the window on the second floor. A blooming lilac planted beside the dogwood provides a backdrop emphasizing the contrast of colors.

Although the sight of the tree is morning eye candy for me, it is a morning meal for a small friend in the garden, the tiger swallowtail butterfly.

To keep your dogwood trees as healthy as possible, make sure you mulch well, water during dry spells, prune dead branches and refrain from adding fertilizers that are heavy on nitrogen to promote growth. Anthracnose favors new growth.

A few days ago, I received this photo in an email of a pink dogwood, Cornus florida ‘Rubra’ that grows in Hudgins in Mathews County. It looks to be about 30′ tall but the height was not indicated in the email. It is absolutely gorgeous.  I’ll have to check this one out!

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

2 thoughts on “Dogwood in Bloom

  1. I think that pink dogwood might be one of the largest ever. No one has verified its age, but I have seen it, right there in Hudgins, VA.
    This was definitely the year of the dogwoods.
    Great article.


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