Evergreen Dogwood

Cornus angustata (or C. kousa var. angustata) - Evergreen Dogwood - long blooming period in early summer!

Yes, an evergreen dogwood! But to me, that’s not what’s cool about Cornus angustata, this small, highly ornamental tree. It’s the really long bloom season, at least for the one in my yard. It typically starts in mid-May, and the blooms may last until early July. They are small, like a Kousa dogwood, but they make up for size with their numbers. And blooming at a time when few other trees are blooming.

Another aspect is that seems to be a very tough tree. Mine is growing in an unirrigated section of my yard, in quite sandy soil. After the first year to get my little seedling established, it has received little supplemental water. Takes our heat, and sun (prefers afternoon shade).

Dirr lists it, in his Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, under C. kousa, as a var. of kousa dogwood, and also comments on its better drought resistance than native flowering dogwood  (C. florida). He also lists a few cultivars, including Empress of China®, ‘First Choice’, and Prodigy™. Mine is a seedling I got from Margie Jenkins (Jenkins Farm and Nursery in Louisiana).

Like the native dogwood, C. angustata requires acidic and well-drained soils.

There is one in the IDEA Garden (in the Tyler Rose Garden) that I got at the same time. It got even less water the first year at my house. When I dug it to transplant it, ALL of the soil fell off the roots. It is in a sunny location, and I feared for its survival. It indeed has survived, and is starting to bloom again. Shows you how tough it is.

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