- Deciduous tree/shrub, 20-25 ft (6-7.6 m) tall, low branching, spreading horizontal. Leaves opposite, simple, 7.5-15 cm long, oval or ovate, 6-7 vein pairs. Terminal flower buds globose, biscuit shaped, flattened, and covered by two large appressed, pubescent scales. True flowers are greenish yellow, only 6 mm, not showy, crowded on a 12 mm head, which is subtended by 4 showy, white (or pink in C. f. f. rubra) bracts, this "flower" is 7.5-10 cm across. Fruit glossy red (0.8 mm long) in fall, 3-4 or more in a cluster.
- Sun to part shade. Does best in well drained acid soil with sufficient organic matter. Mulch to maintain a cool, moist soil. Needs summer water. It is essential to avoid putting this plant under stress, i.e. heat, drought, cold, for it predisposes it to insect and disease attack. This species is susceptible to a number of pests.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (5)6 Native range extends from Massachusetts to Florida, west to Ontario, Texas, and Mexico. In a good portion of this range native Cornus florida trees are dying due to dogwood anthracnos, a disease caused by the fungus Discula destructiva.
- There are numerous cultivars (more than 80), which differ in "flower" (bract) color and size, leaf color (e.g., variegated), and plant form (e.g., upright, compact, weeping).
Information obtained from: OSU http://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/