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Cornus alternifolia

Cornus alternifolia

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£49.50 £55.00 -10%

(American Wedding Cake Tree) The classic green leaved species native to parts of Eastern North America, Cornus alternifolia grows to be a large shrub with wide, spreading tiers of branches once established.

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Supplied Size:
  • 5 litre pot (3 - 4 years old, 80 - 100 cm tall)

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The classic green leaved species native to parts of Eastern North America, Cornus alternifolia is a large shrub with wide, spreading tiers of branches once established. Clusters of small white flowers cover the branches in summer which stand out particularly well against the dark green leaves. In autumn, the leaves can turn handsome shades of purple, orange or scarlet before falling.

A superb, architectural garden plant once established, usually best in a sunny position with shelter from strong winds. More vigorous and quicker to develop the tiered habit than its variegated counterparts.


  • Position: Full sun or light, dappled shade.
  • Soil: Fertile soil.
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Flowering Period: June.
  • Flower Colour: White
  • Rate of Growth: Vigorous.
  • Habit: Cornus alternifolia grows to be a large shrub with a handsome tiered shape once established.
    • Height: up to 6 m (20 ft)
    • Spread: 3 m (10 ft)
  • Pruning: After planting, look for a strongly growing stem developing after about two to four years, perhaps growing at an odd angle but obviously much more vigorous than the normal shoots. Train this stem vertically (usually up a thin bamboo cane or similar) to form the trunk and basis of the tiered structure.
  • Some plants occasionally produce two or even three of these vigorous "leaders", in this case remove all but the most central one. Once established we find a new tier of branches develop every four years or so.

How Much Sun
Full Sun, Light Shade, Shade
Eventual Size
Tree - Small (4m - 8m), Shrub - Large (3m+)
Growing Conditions
Soil: Alkaline, Soil: Damp/Wet, Site: Coastal Areas, Site: Windy, Soil: Acid, Soil: Not Fussy, Soil: Dry/Sandy
Special Features
Flowers in Summer, Autumn Colour, Habit - Architectural, Rare and Unusual
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