Types of dogwood trees are important to recognize beforehand if you are planning to make them an addition to your garden. The genus Dogwood or Cornus has around 40 to 60 different species, although they all belong to the same family, they have lots of differences in their attributes.

15 Types of Dogwood Trees Magnificent Blooms You Can Add

Most of its species are shrubs or deciduous trees, whereas some are evergreen. Let us study each type of dogwood tree as you read their characteristics below, and see which of dogwood varieties will catch your attention.

List of Types of Dogwood Trees

1. Pagoda Dogwood 

Pagoda Dogwood or Cornus alternifolia in the Dogwood family is a species of flowering plant native to locations from Newfoundland, going west to southern Manitoba and Minnesota, or even south to northern Florida and Mississippi in Northern America. They are also known as Alternate-leaved dogwood and Green Osier.

Pagoda Dogwood

Pagoda Dogwood is a small type of tree or even considered a large shrub that can grow up to reach 26 to 29 feet tall.

Its trunk can spread up to six inches in diameter, and branches develop horizontally, holding the green leaves that are alternately arranged and possess a smooth texture but hairy undersides. This tree is the type that would produce small four-petal flowers in cream color during spring and bluish-black berries during winter.

To care for your Pagoda Dogwood properly, plant it in loamy and well-draining soil with acidic soil pH. This low-maintenance beauty prefers shaded locations, so it is perfect if you are searching to add a plant for the shady areas of your garden.

2. Creeping Dogwood  

Cornus Canadensis is another species in the Dogwood family, commonly known as the Creeping Dogwood. It is a slow-growing herbaceous perennial flowering tree that is native to eastern Asia and North America. Other common names include Crackerberry, Canadian bunchberry, Canadian dwarf cornel, and Quatre-temps.

Creeping Dogwood

Unlike its relatives, which are shrubs and trees, this species is a rhizomatous perennial. Also, it can be considered one of the dwarf dogwood tree varieties. It can grow to about six and eight inches tall only, which makes it an excellent ground cover for your woodland garden. 

It has curls of leathery textured green leaves that turn purple during the winter. In late spring and almost early summer, it produces green or white, sometimes pink flowers, followed by clusters of edible berries in scarlet color that brighten to a red color when ripe. This plant performs best in moist and well-draining soil located in full sun to partial shade locations.

3. Northern Swamp Dogwood  

Cornus racemose is also known as the Northern Swamp Dogwood, Panicle Dogwood, or Gray Dogwood. It is a shrubby plant belonging to the Cornaceae family, which is native to southeastern Canada and the Northern United States.

Northern Swamp Dogwood

Northern Swamp Dogwood grows upright and can reach up to four feet to 10 feet in height. It produces small white flowers with tiny petals in a rounded cluster called “diachasial chymes,” which bloom sometime between May and July, late spring early summer is the perfect time that you will see them bloom.

This type of dogwood thrives best in full sun to part shade locations, in fertile, moist, slightly acidic, and well-draining soil.

4. Giant Dogwood  

Another Cornus species is the Cornus controversa, also known as the Wedding cake tree. This species is a flowering plant in the Dogwood family that is native to Japan, China, Korea, and the Himalayas.

Giant Dogwood

You must make sure that you are providing enough space when choosing this deciduous tree because Giant Dogwood spreads horizontally. It grows about 50 feet in height with multiple tiered branches, produces white flowers during the summer, and the dark green leaves turn reddish-purple in the autumn season.

You can help your Giant dogwood grow by placing it in full sun or moderately shade, in moist but well-draining soil and neutral to acid soil pH, don’t forget that you must water it once a week, about six inches deep. These trees are distinguishable according to their blossoms, berries, and unique bark.

5. Himalayan Dogwood  

Cornus capitata is another species of dogwood commonly known as Himalayan Dogwood, Evergreen Dogwood, Himalayan strawberry tree, Bentham’s cornel, or Himalayan Flowering Dogwood. It is native to China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Himalayas but naturalized in some parts of New Zealand and Australia.

Himalayan Dogwood

Himalayan Dogwood is a bushy evergreen tree that can reach up to 40 feet high and wide. It has ovate, gray-green leaves with pale undersides. The beautiful blooms appear during the summer in creamy white color, followed by clusters of strawberry-like berries in fall, which become food for hungry birds.

Have this attractive dogwood variety that makes excellent shrub borders by planting it in organically rich, moist but well-draining soil located in full sun to part shade.

6. Cornelian Cherry Dogwood  

This tree is even known as European Cornel, Cornelian Cherry, or Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Cornus mas is a species of blooming plant in the dogwood family. It is native to Southwestern Asia and Southern Europe.

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

This Cherry Dogwood is a deciduous shrub or small tree producing small rounded clusters of tiny, bright yellow blooms in late winter to early spring. In midsummer, glossy red cherry-like berries bloom. These berries are edible and used in making syrups and preserves.

This kind of dogwood grows about 15 feet to 25 feet tall and 12 feet to 20 feet wide. Remember that it loves full sun to part shade and is easily grown in medium moisture and well-draining soil. Aside from being low maintenance, this plant is also pest and disease free.

7. Silky Dogwood  

Originating from the eastern part of the United States, Silky Dogwood or Cornus amomum also goes by the common names Red Willow, Pale Dogwood, Kinnikinnick, Silky Cornel, and Squawbush. It is a medium-sized deciduous shrub typically found in swamp borders, shrub wetlands, floodplains, or along streams and ponds in eastern North America.

Silky Dogwood

It can grow up to 16 feet tall, displaying dark-reddish purple twigs, simple oval green leaves that are arranged oppositely, and tiny, four-petal, yellowish-white flowers in flat-topped clusters from late spring to early summer. Its fruit appears to be a drupe in blue color that ripens in late summer.

Help your Silky dogwood thrive in medium to wet, well-draining soil in full sun or part shade. It prefers organically rich and slightly acidic soil pH. Expect that you will not encounter serious disease or insect problems when having the Silky dogwood in your collection, but look out for some potential pests like leaf miners and borers.

8. Brown Dogwood

Cornus glabrata is another dogwood species native to Oregon and California. In addition, other common names are Western Cornel, Brown Dogwood, and Smooth Dogwood. 

Brown Dogwood

This kind of dogwood appeared in several paintings dating back to the 19th century because of its attractive blooms and spreading leaves. It is a large shrub holding numerous clusters of spiky white flowers in spring, bright green leaves that turn red in fall, reddish-brown or purple bark, and bluish-white berries. 

Brown Dogwood is most often found near water, typically directly on the bank of a water source. It grows from five feet up to 20 feet tall and can tolerate part shade. When you are keeping this tree, remember that you must provide it with a very well draining soil, and make sure that it remains moist and not soggy, because the latter might harm the tree in the long run.

In addition, it should be somewhere between neutral and acidic, and make sure the soil is not sandy, as the water would stay and accumulate.

9. Japanese Dogwood

Cornus Kousa is also a member of the dogwood family. It is a small deciduous tree that grows up to 26 to 40 feet tall. Commonly known as Japanese Dogwood, Kousa Dogwood Tree, Kousa, Korean Dogwood, and Chinese Dogwood, this plant is native to East Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea but naturalized in New York State.

Japanese Dogwood

It is popularly cultivated as an ornamental tree and chosen by gardeners for being resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, which is caused by a fungus that commonly kills dogwoods, especially the variety Cornus Florida.

This showy tree bears yellow-green flowers when in bloom during late spring. It produces edible, sweet, and creamy, and pink to red colored fruits, which are sometimes used for making wine. During fall, the foliage turns into a fiery red color that definitely adds drama to the place where it is set.

Japanese dogwood reaches up to 15 feet to 25 feet tall and spreads around 25 feet at maturity. It prefers full sun to a partially shaded location and acidic, well-draining soil. It is drought resistant once it is established.

10. Common Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea, also known as the Common Dogwood, Bloodtwig dogwood, Dogberry, European dogwood, Blood-twigged dogwood, or Bloody dogwood, is a species of dogwood family Cornaceae native to Europe and Western Asia, from England to central Scotland. They are widely grown as ornamental plants.

Common Dogwood

This deciduous flowering shrub grows upright, bushy, twiggy, and multi-stemmed and can grow about eight feet to 15 feet tall at maturity. Its tiny white flowers come in clusters during spring and purplish black cherry-like fruits during the late summer. During winter, its colorful red stems and twigs add a fiery show to a garden.

They grow best in the full sun to part shade, in rich, medium moisture, and well-draining soil. They are pest-free, easy to care for, and easy to grow.

11. Mountain Dogwood  

Cornus nuttallii is a species of small to medium-sized deciduous dogwood tree, which can grow up to 20 feet to 75 feet tall and spread up to 20 feet. It has reddish-brown bark and oval, oppositely arranged green leaves. It has individual tiny green and white flowers that bloom twice in each season.

Mountain Dogwood

Mountain Dogwood is native to western North America and is commonly known as Western Dogwood, Mountain Dogwood, or Pacific Dogwood. It prefers to be part shaded, yet to have a low moisture but cool and organically rich, and well-draining soil. They are actually easy to care for and can withstand cold temperatures.

12. Stiff Dogwood  

Cornus foemina, also known as Bluefruit Dogwood, Stiff Dogwood, English Dogwood, Stiff Cornel Dogwood, or Swamp Dogwood, is a species of blooming plant in the Cornaceae family. This plant native to parts of the southeastern and eastern United States. It typically grows in wetlands, such as streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes or in swampy conditions.

Stiff Dogwood

Stiff Dogwood is a large shrub or small tree that may grow up to 15 feet in height. Its bark appears to be smooth or furrowed, oval-shaped leaves are oppositely arranged, white flowers come in flat-topped clusters, and fruits are bluish purple drupes.

This tree prefers full sun to partial shade, is very tolerant of wet soil conditions, and can withstand high salinity.

13. Rough Leaf Dogwood   

Cornus drummondii or Rough Leaf Dogwood is another member of the Cornaceae family. It is a small deciduous tree primarily native to regions of the United States and can also be found near the Mississippi River.

Rough Leaf Dogwood

Nonetheless, this tree can grow up to 15 feet to 25 feet tall and spread up to 10 feet to 15 feet wide. It grows best in moist soil with part shade. It has a large showy cluster of flowers blooms during the summer months with white four-petal blooms followed by small white fruits from August to October.

Note that the flowers attract butterflies, and over 40 species of birds are known to feed on its fruits.

14. Red Osier Dogwood

Cornus serices is also known as Red Osier or Red Osier Dogwood. Its other common names include American dogwood, Creek dogwood, Red brush, Red willow, Redstem Dogwood, Red-rood, Red-twig dogwood, and Western dogwood. It is a member of the family Cornaceae native to North America.

Red Osier Dogwood

Red Osier Dogwood is a medium to tall deciduous multi-stemmed shrub growing upright from five feet to 13 feet tall in addition to 10 feet to 16 feet wide. It has dark red branches and twigs and oppositely arranged dark green leaves that are ovate to oblong shape. Its flowers are flat, tiny, and dull-white in their color. On the other hand, the fruit that it bears are round, white colored berries.

This tree features stunning fall color, attractive berries, and vibrant-colored stems that will surely be a vibrant addition to your garden for most seasons. Your tree performs at its best by planting it in full sun to part shaded areas with nutrient-rich, medium to wet soils.

It can actually withstand any kind of soil provided it is kept evenly moist and well drained. It is also shade tolerant and easy to grow and care for.

15. Flowering Dogwood  

Cornus Florida is commonly known as the Flowering Dogwood and is even called American Dogwood, Florida dogwood, Cornelian Tree, False box, Flase boxwood, White Dogwood, and Indian Arrow Wood.

Flowering Dogwood

Belonging to the Cornaceae family of flowering trees native to eastern North America and northern Mexico, this tree is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in public and residential places because of its interesting bark structure and showy bracts.

Flowering Dogwood is a small deciduous tree growing up to 32 feet high, as its trunk can grow up to one foot wide, and its leaves are ovate, simple, and oppositely arranged, turning into a rich red-brown color in fall. Its four-petal flowers have greenish-yellow color, which appears to be individually small and inconspicuous.

The Flowering Dogwood is known for its many selected cultivars grown widely throughout the temperate regions in the world. The different types of flowering dogwood trees or even different sub-genus of this tree such as the Cherokee princess, with its vigorous white flowers, became the industry’s standard for white flowers.

In addition to the Cherokee chief, known for its red flowers and red new blooms, features variegated leaves of green, pink, and creamy white.

Conclusion

You will never run out of beautiful choices when we are talking about different types of Dogwood trees in every season. Although they are relatives, each of them possesses distinctive features.

The reason why it is an amazing idea to include one of these trees in your garden is that most of them will bloom and flower spring through halfway summer, and they will add a unique touch to your house, whether you add types of pink dogwood trees or white ones.

They are all perfect in their own way, and they will never fail to enhance the beauty of your garden and will certainly spark happiness.

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