last updated 15/02/2022

Cornus x rutgersensis hybrids

This exciting hybrid series was developed at Rutgers University in the U.S.A. as a result of crossing C. kousa and C. florida by Dr. Elwin Orton.

Dogwood anthracnose is a series disease in North America, in places devastating the wild Cornus populations, particularly Cornus florida. The aim of this breeding program was to develop Cornus that were resistant to the disease and of ornamental value. There can be no doubt that they succeeded! Fortunately this disease is not a problem in the UK, but these selections are nevertheless of immense ornamental value and beauty.

The trees have a vigorous habit to about 6m in 20 years and are all very floriferous, with the bracts each lasting for several weeks. They all have a central leader and are free-branching. Excellent autumn foliage colour makes these truly multi-season plants. Fruit are seldom produced in this country, where they perform best in a warm sunny site where the wood can fully ripen to maximise the floral display. These are fabulous trees and really do seem to combine the best of both their parents.

Cornus 'Aurora' with its beautiful autumn colour under way.
Cornus Rutgers Aurora from Junker's Nursery

Cornus rutger Aurora flower bracts from Junker's Nursery Cornus 'Aurora'
The white bracts are large, and overlapping with rounded edges. A splendid vase-shaped small tree.
See it in our Gardens.

Cornus 'Celestial'
This one is of erect habit but with nicely spreading limbs. The rather cupped bracts have a green tinge to them when they first open, then flattening out and turning to a brilliant white.
See it in our Gardens.

Cornus 'Constellation' 
As hinted at in the name, this one gives a more star like, airy effect as the bracts are distinctly separated. Upright in habit, becoming taller than it is wide, it is well suited to a smaller site where a solid tree would be overpowering.
See it in our Gardens.

Cornus rutgersensis Ruth Ellen Cornus 'Ruth Ellen' 
This is often the first of the group to bloom and the lovely bracts last for ages. The white bracts mature to pink and, with its slightly laxer habit, they look rather like handkerchiefs hung out to dry.
See it in our Gardens.

Cornus 'Stellar Pink' 
The beautiful creamy bracts are flushed with pink from the tips on this selection make it most attractive. Very profuse flowering every year. Strong, upright habit makes this a brilliant introduction.
See it in our Gardens.

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