Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Dogwood
Cornus controversa 'Variegata'

Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus (KOR-nus) (Info)
Species: controversa (kon-troh-VER-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bobbieberecz On Jun 7, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I've had my variegated dogwood tree for 5+ years. I had given up on it ever blossoming but to my delight I spotted 2 blooms today. It is located in a mostly bright shade area on the edge of a woodland area. This area is developed with rhodies, hydrangea and daylillies, as well as other plants. It has finally grown to a height where it receives more sun at the top, the bottom being completely shaded by a large rhodie. It has developed into a most beautiful form with the tiers becoming more evident. From across the large lawn the variegation gives it the softest shade of pale moss against all the darker greens, bringing light to this shady spot. The first few years it developed brown leaf margins on the lower half of the tree. I watered like crazy thinking the evergreen trees were taking all the water. Nothing helped. This year all the leaves are beautiful and healthy. Wonderful tree----flowers or not. Sandy loam soil w/nutritious mulch. Regular watering. My tag said leaves will burn in full sun, hence the shade. We're reportedly Z-6 but I sometimes lose or experience severe die-back unless plants are Z-5.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 24, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This unusual Dogwood is prized in its native china and Japan for its horizontally-held branches and variegated leaves edged in creamy white. 'Variegata' is very dramatic in the landscape, adding cool color and fascinating texture to the garden. Easy to grow in well-drained soil, it is a superb specimen planting, border focal point, or accent.

The branches are very striking in winter, standing out boldly in the bleak landscape. In early spring the foliage uncurls with rich cream edging on every mid-green leaf. This variegation remains even after the warm summer weather arrives, making a nice change of pace from solid-colored foliage.

In late spring the branches are covered in single white blooms, quite showy, over several weeks. These are followed by small fruits that turn from green to bluish-black by autumn, bringing songbirds into the garden for a late-season feast.

Reaching 30 to 35 feet high and 30 to 40 feet wide at full maturity, this is a fine tree for any sunny to partly shaded setting. Make it a focal point in your garden design. Zones 6-8


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Indianapolis, Indiana
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Fulton, Maryland
Helena, Montana
Kalispell, Montana
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Salem, Oregon
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Concrete, Washington

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