last updated 20/10/2014

CORNUS alternifolia 'Argentea'
This is a truly wonderful large shrub or small tree. Although closely related, and in some ways similar, this should not be confused with the "Wedding Cake Tree". This one is smaller growing and the green leaves, brightly edged with creamy white are also smaller. It also has panicles of white flowers in May. It will have an incredibly beautiful layered habit as it develops, although this will grow out at maturity, when its will be 3-4m. We have found this established quite readily, even on our heavy clay, and is rarely damaged by late frost. However, it can be slow to get going, so I would strongly recommend starting with a larger plant - when we have them!

NEW CORNUS alternifolia 'Brunette' 

NEW CORNUS alternifolia 'Goldfinch' 

NEW CORNUS alternifolia 'Moonlight'

CORNUS alternifolia 'Silver Giant' 
Our own introduction, this plant is rather exciting. Occurring as a sport on a Cornus alternifolia 'Argentea', the variegation is much more subtle. The central portion is an almost greyish green, whilst the margin is a silvery white. This lesser variegation makes it blend in better with a more natural setting, whilst also giving it more vigour. Thus it is a jolly good garden plant which seems very tolerant of most situations. 

CORNUS alternifolia 'Winter Surprise'
Another of our own introductions! This one has amazing golden-coral coloured stems in winter (nearly as good as the fabled stem Cornus) yet with the wonderful tiered habit of this species. The foliage is almost green, but it is illuminated by the subtlest of golden variegation, according to light and fertiliser levels.

CORNUS alternifolia 'Winter Orange'
We had already unofficially named our selection above when we became aware of this cultivar on the continent. Of course we had to have one to compare! This one certainly does have orangey bark in winter, but it definitely lacks the subtle variegation which first drew our attention to our plant. A worthwhile addition to our collection nevertheless.

CORNUS alternifolia 'Yellow Spring'
Coming soon...

CORNUS canadensis  
So different from our other Cornus that it is hard to believe it is the same genus. This is a dear little woodland carpeter growing only a few inches tall and spreading slowly. The family resemblance is revealed with the white flower bracts in early summer, then lovely autumn colour. In an ideal world, plant in groups to give a better effect.

CORNUS controversa 'Candlelight'

CORNUS controversa 'Laska'

CORNUS controversa 'Lucia'

CORNUS controversa 'Pagoda'
A named grafted green leaved form which will therefore form the traditional layered habit from a much younger age than it does when grown from seed.

CORNUS controversa 'Troya Dwarf' 
Of course most cultivars of this species have the potential to become rather large trees (given long enough!) but this one is definitely different. With fundamentally the same characteristic layered habit, it's just the dimensions that are reduced. The young foliage is a handsome pinky-chocolate colour which is most attractive too.

CORNUS controversa 'Variegata' 
The well known "Wedding Cake Tree" is a beautiful small tree with well defined layered branches, striking creamy margined leaves and red stems. Flowers and berries as the species. Lovely pink and red shades of autumn colour. Beautiful larger plants available.

CORNUS controversa 'Variegata Frans Type' 
This distinct form originated in Northern France. The leaves are a more grey green than the more common form and the cream margin rather narrower. This results in a more vigorous and robust constitution and is therefore better suited to less ideal sites. Other features are the same.

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