last updated 06/02/2022

Semi-evergreen Cornus

Semi-evergreens can be fabulous plants. These Cornus change colour in the autumn, typically a little more progressively than their deciduous counterparts; but then they hold those coloured leaves for much longer into the winter. Exactly how long they are held will depend on the site and the weather; they will be held for longer in a mild winter, particularly in a more sheltered position.

If allowed to grow naturally, all these selections will form multi-stemmed small trees. However, it is perfectly possible to formative prune them when young to remove lower side growth such that they develop a more "tree-like" form. This can consist of significant pruning across multiple years to achieve a clean single trunk and discrete head. Another option that is one that I enjoy very much is to allow it to develop its natural multi-stemmed structure, but to then remove the twiggy side growth off the lower trunks, as that then enables the structure to be enjoyed.  There is no "right" or "wrong" way to grow them - I'm a great believer that what is "right" in this respect is what gives you most pleasure. Indeed my preference varies according to how a particular specimen fits into the landscape and what else is growing around it. 

Cornus 'Porlock' demonstrating  how the bracts mature to pink
Cornus Porlock showing how the bracts mature to pinkat Junker's Nursery

Cornus Blooming Tetra Series

This group is comparatively new to our collection, but I'm very excited about it. Some sources list it under C. kousa, but it's clearly not as simple as that, if for no other reason than that they are semi-evergreen. The concept is as C. kousa though, with showy floral bracts developing in profusion in early summer. Their autumn leaf colours are exceptional, being held for a particularly long time due to their semi-evergreen characteristics. 

The first plants will be available from autumn 2022

Cornus 'Blooming Merry Tetra'
Given that this one also boasts white bracts and wonderful autumn colours, to be honest, I'm not yet certain what sets this one apart from 'Blooming White Tetra'.  I will be interested to see them develop in close proximity enabling me to compare them and understand their individual characteristics. 

Cornus 'Blooming Pink Tetra'
As the name implies, this cultivar has pink flushed bracts. Gorgeous autumn foliage colours include strong reds.

Cornus 'Blooming White Tetra'
White bracts and a fabulous autumn foliage display, with orange being the dominant colour.

Cornus capitata x kousa hybrids

There are a number of hybrids between these two species, which have occurred in different places at different times. Cornus capitata is evergreen, whilst Cornus kousa is deciduous. The hybrids between them are intermediate between their parents, so are semi-evergreen. The bracts are at their zenith a little later than those of Cornus kousa, typically peaking in July, then continuing well into August, or even September. The bracts of most cultivars in this group undergo significant colour changes, starting small and green, gradually progressing through cream to shades of pink, creating an almost bicolour effect across the tree as the flowering period moves on. They are usually prolific in their fruit production too. 

Cornus Gloria Birkett flower bract. A flowering dogwood  from Junker's Nursery Cornus 'Gloria Birkett'
This is a charming hybrid, subtly different to the better known C. 'Norman Hadden'. The leaves maintain a simpler green colour, with less of the bronzing seem in the other hybrids. 
See it in our Winter Garden.
Cornus Gloria Birkett fruit. A flowering dogwood  from Junker's Nursery

Cornus Kenwyn Clapp flower bracts. A flowering dogwood  from Junker's Nursery Cornus 'Kenwyn Clapp'
This delightful plant occurred as a self sown seedling in the fabulous garden of Mr Kenwyn Clapp near Plymouth and we proposed that it should be named for him. It is probable that the parents were C. capitata and C. kousa. It is very similar in leaf shape and habit to the well known hybrid of similar parentage, C. 'Norman Hadden'. However, Cornus 'Kenwyn Clapp' has a greater degree of pink flushing through the foliage which is reflected in the pinker flower bracts, particularly as they mature. Altogether a welcome and worthy addition to a very beautiful group of small trees.
See it in the Gardens here.

Cornus Norman Hadden flower bracts. A flowering dogwood  from Junker's Nursery Cornus 'Norman Hadden'
(C. kousa x C. capitata) This beautiful small tree originated in Porlock, Somerset. Our plants are derived from the original plant now at Knightshayes Court, Devon. 

Cornus Porlock flower bracts. A flowering dogwood  from Junker's Nursery Cornus 'Porlock'
(C. capitata x C. kousa) A sister seedling originally to the popular Cornus 'Norman Hadden', C. 'Porlock' is perhaps a touch less evergreen, so a touch quicker to loose its leaves, than C. 'Norman Hadden'. (Consider it to be one step closer to its kousa parentage.) 
See it in the Gardens here.

Back to Previous Page

Back to Catalogue

Next Page

Back to Top of Page