Thanks for the article. GREAT photos! AND usefull information.
For those of us who are on the hardiness margins of where Cornus florida grows, I heard somewhere along the way that the pink and red varieties are less hardy than the white. My experience in Northeastern PA bears this out. Our native whites will bloom most years, but I have yet to have the generic pink I planted in a sheltered spot bloom in the 6 years I've had it. It grows, forms flower buds by Fall, but in spring, they fail to open, are dry, and fall off. I've had this occur with a 'Royal Red' as well.
I've also not been able to get a Kousa to grow -- they have all frozen out -- but I suspect this to be due to the small-sized starts I used (less than 1.5 ft). I think, maybe, if I start with a large caliper tree, it would have a much better change. Your article has inspired me to try again!
The wild C. florida is taller (20-30ft), spindly & almost always white. I've seen some with pinkish areas near the indentations in the petal (sepal?). I agree, they grow at higher elevations than cultivated varieties, especially on the Blue Ridge/Appalachian Tr & South Mountain (Reading Prong for geologists), & not just because those are the only wild areas remaining in our areas. I have not seen them in great valley second growth, despite plenty of bushy-tailed & feathery dispersers & adjoining habitat along streams & rivers. Meanwhile ornamental cultivars abound in the valley & are OK until the mildew hits.
BTW, TY for this article. I'm encouraged by the Rutgers research. Kousa has become so dominant due to disease paranoia. What are we going to do, outlaw a species in its native range? Next, shall we kill the wild specimens to protect nursery stock? If C. florida is sick, I'd rather say, "plant a redbud," but it seems that redbud canker is considered as much as an issue as anthracnose.