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Cornus






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,

these in 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

conspicuous purple.



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

Columbia.



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

established.



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.






Next: Corokia

Previous: Coriaria



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