Cornus or Dogwoods are a varied group of deciduous shrubs and trees belonging to the Cornaceae family and native to Asia, Europe and North America. Cornus offer garden interest through forms that are flowering, with colourful stems or vivid autumn foliage.

What is a Cornus?

Cornus range in size from ground cover and compact plants less than 0.5m to trees than can be over 10m tall when mature. Most forms are between 1.5m to 4m tall. Cornus grown for their showy flowers offer a range of colours in whites, creams, yellows and pinks. Some cornus have stunning orange or red stems in the autumn and winter and many will give a beautiful display of colourful autumn foliage.

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Where to plant Cornus?

Cornus are frost hardy and can be grown in a wide range of garden situations. They will do well in sun or partial shade and any moist and well drained soil. Some forms will even tolerate quite damp conditions. Smaller cornus can be grown in large patio pots and larger forms will be better suited to garden borders in small groups or as feature plants. Some Cornus can also be planted as hedges.

How to care for a Cornus?

Once established Cornus are easy to look after. Water young plants and pot grown plants in dry spells. Flowering Cornus should require little pruning. Cornus grown for winter stem colour will look best if pruned in spring as new growth is emerging.