Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’

variegated pagoda dogwood

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’ brings an outstanding structural element to a garden with its tiered form and bright variegation. The superlative white-edged, green leaves glow in the landscape and would be a stunning addition to the garden. It offers a distinctive branching pattern, and white flowers in late spring but it rarely berries in the Pacific Northwest. Reddish-purple twigs contrast wonderfully with the foliage.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

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

Plant Width/Spread: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

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

Seasonal Interest: spring & summer foliage

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: purple, bronze

Great Color Partners: white, dark green

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.