CORNUS ALBA.--White-fruited Dogwood. Siberia, 1741. This is a native of
northern Asia and Siberia, not of America as Loudon stated. For the
slender, red-barked branches and white or creamy flowers, this species
is well worthy of notice, while the white fruit renders it very
distinct and effective. It grows to about 10 feet in height. C. alba
Spathi is one of the most ornamental of shrubs bearing coloured leaves,
n spring being of a beautiful bronzy tint, and changing towards
summer to a mixture of gold and green, or rather an irregular margin of
deep gold surrounds each leaf. It was first sent out by the famous
Berlin nurseryman whose name it bears. C. alba Gouchaulti is another
variegated leaved variety, but has no particular merit, and originated
in one of the French nurseries.
C. ALTERNIFOLIA.--North America, 1760. This species is a lover of damp
ground, and grows from 20 feet to nearly 30 feet high, with clusters of
pale yellow flowers, succeeded by bluish-black berries that render the
plant highly ornamental. It is still rare in British gardens.
C. AMOMUM (_syn C. sericea_).--From the eastern United States. It is a
low-growing, damp-loving shrub, with yellowish-white flowers, borne
abundantly in small clusters. It grows about 8 feet in height, and has
a graceful habit, owing to the long and lithe branches spreading
regularly over the ground. The fruit is pale blue, and the bark a
C. ASPERIFOLIA is another showy American species, with reddish-brown
bark, hairy leaves, of small size, and rather small flowers that are
succeeded by pearly-white berries borne on conspicuous reddish stalks.
C. BAILEYI resembles somewhat the better-known C. stolonifera, but it
is of more erect habit, is not stoloniferous, has rather woolly leaves,
at least on the under side, and bears yellowish-white fruit. It grows
in sandy soil, and is a native of Canada.
C. CALIFORNICA (_syn C. pubescens_) grows fully 10 feet high, with
smooth branches, hairy branchlets, and cymes of pretty white flowers,
succeeded by white fruit. It occurs from southern California to British
C. CANADENSIS.--Dwarf Cornel or Birchberry. Canada, 1774. This is of
herbaceous growth, and remarkable for the large cream-coloured flower
bracts, and showy red fruit.
C. CANDIDISSIMA (_syn C. paniculata_) is a beautiful American species,
with panicled clusters of almost pure white flowers, that are succeeded
by pale blue fruit. It is a small growing tree, with narrow, pointed
leaves, and greyish coloured, smooth bark. Like many of its fellows,
this species likes rather moist ground.
C. CIRCINATA, from the eastern United States, is readily distinguished
by its large, round leaves, these sometimes measuring 6 inches long by
3-1/2 inches wide. The yellowish-white flowers are individually small,
and succeeded by bright blue fruits, each as large as a pea.
C. CAPITATA (_syn Benthamia fragifera_).--Nepaul, 1825. An evergreen
shrub, with oblong, light green leaves and terminal inconspicuous
greenish flowers, surrounded by an involucre of four large,
pinky-yellow bracts. It is this latter that renders the shrub so very
conspicuous when in full flower. Unfortunately, the Benthamia is not
hardy throughout the country, the south and west of England, especially
Cornwall, and the southern parts of Ireland being the favoured spots
where this handsome shrub or small growing tree--for in Cornwall it has
attained to fully 45 feet in height, and in Cork nearly 30 feet--may be
found in a really thriving condition. Around London it does well enough
for a time, but with severe frost it gets cut back to the ground, and
though it quickly recovers and grows rapidly afterwards, before it is
large enough to flower freely it usually suffers again. The fruits are
as large and resemble Strawberries, and of a rich scarlet or reddish
hue, and though ripe in October they frequently remain on the trees
throughout the winter. Both for its flowers and fruit, this Nepaul
shrub-tree is well worthy of a great amount of trouble to get it
established in a cosy corner of the garden. Rich, well-drained loam is
all it wants, while propagation by seed is readily effected.
C. FLORIDA, the Florida Dogwood, is not always very satisfactory when
grown in this country, our climate in some way or other being
unsuitable for its perfect development. It is a handsome shrub or
small-growing tree, with small flowers surrounded by a large and
conspicuous white involucre. The leaves are ovate-oblong, and pubescent
on the undersides. It is a valuable as well as ornamental little tree,
and is worthy of a great amount of coddling and coaxing to get it
C. KOUSA (_syn Benthamia japonica_).--Japan. This is a very distinct
and beautiful flowering shrub. Flowers very small individually, but
borne in large clusters, and yellow, the showy part being the four
large, pure white bracts which subtend each cluster of blossoms, much
like those in Cornus florida, only the bracts are more pointed than
those of the latter species. Being quite hardy, and a plant of great
interest and beauty, this little known Cornus is sure to be widely
planted when better known.
C. MACROPHYLLA (_syn C. brachypoda_).--Himalayas, China and Japan,
1827. This is an exceedingly handsome species, of tabulated appearance,
occasioned by the branches being arranged almost horizontally. The
leaves are of large size, elliptic-ovate, and are remarkable for their
autumnal tints. The elder-like flowers appear in June. They are pure
white and arranged in large cymes. C. macrophylla variegata is a
distinct and very ornamental form of the above, in which the leaf
margins are bordered with white.
C. MAS.--Cornelian Cherry. Austria, 1596. One of our earliest flowering
trees, the clusters of yellow blooms being produced in mild seasons by
the middle of February. It is not at all fastidious about soil,
thriving well in that of very opposite description. It deserves to be
extensively cultivated, if only for the profusion of brightly-tinted
flowers, which completely cover the shoots before the leaves have
appeared. C. Mas aurea-elegantissima, the tricolor-leaved Dogwood, is a
strikingly ornamental shrub, with green leaves encircled with a golden
band, the whole being suffused with a faint pinky tinge. It is of more
slender growth than the species, and a very desirable acquisition to
any collection of hardy ornamental shrubs. C. Mas argenteo-variegata is
another pretty shrub, the leaves being margined with clear white.
C. NUTTALLII grows to fully 50 feet in height, and is one of the most
beautiful of the Oregon and Californian forest trees. The flower bracts
are of large size, often 6 inches across, the individual bracts being
broad and white, and fully 2-1/2 inches long.
C. OFFICINALIS is a Japanese species, that is, however, quite hardy in
this country, and nearly resembles the better known C. Mas, but from
which it may at once be known by the tufts of brownish hairs that are
present in the axils of the principal leaf veins.
C. STOLONIFERA.--Red Osier Dogwood. North America, 1741. This has
rather inconspicuous flowers, that are succeeded by whitish fruit, and
is of greatest value for the ruddy tint of the young shoots. It grows
fully 6 feet high, and increases rapidly by underground suckers. The
species is quite hardy.
C. TARTARICA (_syn C. siberica_).--Siberia, 1824. This has much
brighter coloured bark, and is of neater and dwarfer habit, than the
typical C. alba. It is a very beautiful and valuable shrub, of which
there is a variegated leaved form.