Yes, an evergreen dogwood! But what’s even more admirable about this small, highly ornamental tree (Cornus angustata) is the really long bloom season. 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. The graceful, yet vigorous branches are weighed down with blooms. Up to 150 white blooms!
Not only does it have an exceptional bloom count, but equally beautiful fruit and unheard of garden vigor. Glossy, leathery bright green leaves average 3 inches long and an inch wide persist through the winter months, then slough off after the new growth emerges in spring.
The 1 1/2 inch blooms are fantastic. They open a lime green color and mature to a beautiful creamy white. The blooms are crowded so densely along the branches that an Empress of China in full bloom will stop passers-by. Once the blooms drop, the pretty fruit will attract songbirds into the garden for a late summer and fall feast.
Empress of China can take the heat and humidity of the deep South yet be just as happy in Maryland. It prefers partial shade, but if you give it too much the flowering will suffer a bit. We recommend that you plant the tree in a part of your garden that does not receive the intense afternoon sun.
This is one of the most prolific blooming dogwoods we have ever seen, and it starts blooming at an early age. Although we cannot guarantee it, our larger 3 and 5 gallon size plants have been known to bloom their first season.
Like the native dogwood, C. angustata requires acidic and well-drained soils.
In short supply and difficult to find, this is a dogwood that will not disappoint.
|Key Features||Creamy white blooms in early summer|
|USDA Zones||Hardy to USDA zones 6-9|
|Exposure||Shade to part sun|
|Dimension||15-18'H x 13-15'W|
|Water||Water as needed|
|Soil Type||Well-drained garden soil|
• water before planting
• plant in part shade (no afternoon sun)
• dig hole 3X the width of pot
• backfill and plant 1”-2” above soil level
• water and add more soil if needed
• mulch plants; fertilize in early spring