Cornus alternifolia

pagoda dogwood

Outstanding Qualities

The distinctive, tiered branching habit of Cornus alternifolia will add a touch of elegance to your garden. Pagoda dogwood is a suitable tree for small- to medium-sized gardens and is more disease resistant than many other dogwoods. It has unusual, lacy white flowers, reminiscent of the blooms of Queen Anne’s lace. In late summer, bluish-black berries decorate the tree until the birds find them! Vibrant fall color begins with burgundy hues that turn bright red with yellow toward the interior of the tree.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: black, blue

Great Color Partners: white, variegated, silver

Culture Notes

Plant this small tree in a moist, well-drained soil with light or open shade. It can be adaptable to sandy soils and clay with regular watering during dry weather. As it is noted for its beautifully layered, low branches, it should be planted where it has plenty of room to spread. The lovely layered form can easily be ruined by pruning. Consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering in well drained soil, clay, or sand