Plants: Cornus controversa 'Variegata' - wedding cake tree, giant dogwood

Posted by 01.08. 2011 11:38:01 (25567 readers)

This giant dogwood has another name which, in my opinion, characterizes the plant much better = wedding cake tree. Looking at the habit of the more commonly grown cultivar Variegata one knows exactly what it means. This beauty can easily become a show-stopping specimen in a garden of literally any style. Its tiered branches look exactly like several layers of a wedding cake and the white-variegated foliage stands for rich sugary icing. Want a piece?

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' - wedding cake tree, giant dogwood

The leaves are elliptic, deciduous, mid green in the middle with rich white margins. They are always pendent and a bit wavy. They emerge bronze pink and gain the pink shade again in early autumn when they fade to pink and yellow. Flowers are 10-15 cm wide, white-green, flat corymbs which are not particularly exquisite but look great in profusion on a mature plant. They come out in mid spring.

This gorgeous small tree (or a large shrub) needs time to show its assets. Deep burgundy red young stems grow rapidly upright first, making 50 or more centimeters per year. But the following couple of years the plant only makes strictly horizontal, 10-20 cm long shoots to fill up the habit. In 3-4 years the plant is strong enough to produce another long shoot upwards and the whole scenario repeats. In 10 years you have a fantastic plant about 2m tall and 1.5m wide.

Dogwood is quite soil adaptable but hates water-logging. For best results grow it in full sun in semi-fertile, slightly moist soil. No fertilizing or pruning will bring you a beautiful plant of a unique shape. Fully hardy to min. -30°C (USDA zone 5), possibly more.

Size/type: taller shrub
Usual height: 3-5m
Usual width: 2-3m
Leaves: deciduous broadleaf
Colour of leaves: varigated:green a white
Flowers: less showy but noticeable
Colour of flowers: white
Blooming time: april - may
Location: full sun
Usda zone (lowest): 5 (down to -29°c)
For zone 5+6: code of winter protection zone 5+6
For zone 7: code of winter protection zone 7
Belongs to categories: deciduous broadleaf

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' - wedding cake tree, giant dogwood

Zahradnictví SAFRO Milan Havlis
155 00 Praha Stodůlky, Za Mototechnou 2673/-11, Czech Republic
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