Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida Cornaceae

Growth habit


Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, Mass. to FL, West to Ont., Tex., & Mex.


Dry, sandy or gravely soils are preferred. In nature, it is usually an understory tree in oak woods. Cool soil conditions are preferred. This avoids the disease problems it often suffers.


Fruits ripen later than other dogwoods. Remove pulp, store warm-moist, then cold-moist stratify for 60- 90 days. Sow at 70 degrees.

Biocultural value

Once used as a substitute for quinine in malaria treatments. Root bark and berries were also used medicinally.

Wildlife value

Important wildlife food.


Mundy Wildflower Garden, Cornell Class of 1938 Native Maple Slope, Sculpture Garden, Coy Glen, Fischer Old-growth Forest, South Hill Swamp

Source of plant

Chase Brother's Nursery, Schichtel's Nursery, Weston Nurseries, Edgewood Nursery, John Ewanicki, Lake County Nursery Inc., Forrest Keeling Nursery, McGuire Gardens, Bill Schneider, Ruth Nix


Small, low-branched tree with spreading, horizontal branches and a flat-topped crown, often wider than high at maturity. Fertile flowers greenish-yellow, crowded into a 1/2" wide head surrounded by four, 2" long, white bracts, effective in April and May. Fruit a glossy red, 1/3" long drupe, borne 3-4 in a cluster, ripening in September and October. Fall color a reliably good reddish-purple.

USDA Hardiness Zone