Varieties of Flowering Dogwood

With over 45 species of dogwoods, this hardy genus contains deciduous trees and shrubs that are seen growing along rocky slopes, woodlands and swamps. Known for their showy flower bracts and colorful fruit, the dogwood tree is striking in autumn with its fiery foliage. Planted along a front yard walkway, dogwoods provide long-lasting color and texture to the landscape. Dogwood fruits range in color from red to purple, to blue and black and attract birds and other wildlife.

Bloodtwig Dogwood

The bloodtwig dogwood is a deciduous tree that grows up to 15 feet high and wide. Its dense, twiggy growth has a rounded form with medium to course texture. Bloodtwig dogwood trees have flat-topped, white flowers that emerge in early summer. The dull, dark green leaves are oval in shape and grow up to 3 inches long. Beginning in the fall, the green leaves change to purplish green, and the stem of the dogwood turns red. Bloodtwig dogwood trees prefer full sun to partial shade to thrive. They also tolerate a range of different soils, making this flowering tree very versatile. The USDA hardiness zone is 4 to 7.

Giant Dogwood

Giant dogwood trees are moderate to fast-growing deciduous trees that reach a towering 45 feet high and 30 feet wide. Their simple green leaves turn purple in the fall and are heart-shaped. The flowers on the giant dogwood are flat-topped and creamy white. They begin emerging in May and range from 3 to 7 inches long. The fruit on the giant dogwood is reddish purple and sometimes black in color. Their horizontal branches are wide spreading to create a striking tree among the landscape. The giant dogwood has medium texture and prefers full sun, moist and well-drained soils. The USDA hardiness zone is 5 to 8.

Kousa Dogwood

The kousa dogwood is a slow growing deciduous tree with medium texture. When young, the kousa dogwood is vase-shaped but eventually turns to a rounded form with horizontal branching. The kousa dogwood grows up to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Its dark green leaves range from 2 to 4 inches long, and the reddish-purple fruit emerge in the fall for a colorful landscape. The flowers on the kousa dogwood are white and range from 2 to 4 inches wide with tapered bracts. These flowering dogwood trees prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The USDA hardiness zone is 5 to 8.

Keywords: flowering dogwoods, bloodtwig dogwood, giant dogwood, kousa dogwood

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.