Chinese evergreen dogwoods (Cornus angustata) are a relatively new group of landscape trees that are primarily grown in the Southeast. Although they have been around for 20 years, they aren't widely seen in yards, partly because many selections lack the floriferous quality of deciduous varieties. That's likely to change with the introduction of a new variety that offers both an abundance of flowers (up to 150 per branch) and a vigorous growth habit.
The Empress of China Chinese dogwood (Cornus angustata Empress of China 'Elsbry') grows 18 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. The 1- to 2-inch-diameter flowers start green and open to white. Translucent, strawberry-like fruits follow that are a favorite food of birds. The plant retains its leaves all winter and drops them in spring just as the new leaves are appearing. Empress of China will flower best in part shade and is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9.
For more information on Empress of China Chinese dogwood, go to: Wayside Gardens.
Article published on June 18, 2007.