Hybrid flowering dogwood

Flowers of Aurora, a selection of the hybrid flowering dogwood.

Botanical name:

Cornus x rutgersensis (C. florida x C. kousa)

Family (English):

Dogwood

All Common Names:

hybrid flowering dogwood

Family (Botanic):

Cornaceae

Planting Considerations:

  • May be difficult to find in nurseries

Ornamental Interest:

  • Spring blossoms,
  • Fall color,
  • Showy flowers

Season of Interest:

  • Early spring,
  • Mid spring,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Pink,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Round

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

Acid Soils:

  • Prefers

Transplants Well:

  • Moderate

Alkaline Soils:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Wildlife:

  • Birds,
  • Insect pollinators

Salt Spray:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Intolerant

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Best grown in areas with good drainage.  Prefers acid soils.

Disease, pests, and problems

May not grow to its full potential in wet or alkaline soils.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to dogwood anthracnose, powdery mildew and dogwood borer.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is gray-brown.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, simple, rounded  leaves with a pointed tip and wavy leaf margins. Veins grow toward tip of leaf without running to the edge.  Fall color is reddish-purple.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers appear large because of the four white or pink bracts. True flowers are clustered in center of bracts.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Clusters of bright red fruit ripen in fall.  Intermediate in size and shape between the fruit of the two parent trees.

Cultivars and their differences 

These cultivars belong to the Stellar® series developed at Rutgers University.

Aurora® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutban') has white floral bracts and flowers very heavily.  This is a vigorous grower and has a form that is more spreading than other white-flowered cultivars.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose. Twenty year old specimens are 20 feet high and wide.

Celestial® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutdan') has creamy white floral bracts and flowers heavily.  This is another vigorous cultivar, but with a more upright form.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose.

Constellation® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutcan') has creamy white floral bracts and flowers heavily.  This is another vigorous cultivar, but with a very erect form.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose.  Twenty year old specimens are 20 feet high and 17 feet wide.

Ruth Ellen® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutlan') has brilliant white floral bracts.  This is another vigorous cultivar.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose. 

Stardust® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutfan') has white floral bracts.  This is vigorous cultivar with a low-branching habit, branching low to the ground.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose. 

Stellar Pink® (Cornus x rutgersensis 'Rutgan') has pink floral bracts.  This is a vigorous cultivar with an erect habit.  Shows good resistance to powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose.  Twenty year old specimens are 23 feet high and 18 feet wide.

 

Drought Conditions:

  • Intolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Hybrid flowering dogwood, a cross between flowering dogwood and Kousa dogwood, is represented by several cultivars in the trade. Most are white-flowered (Stellar Pink® has pink flowers). These cultivars are resistant to dogwood borer and dogwood anthracnose (a serious disease).

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • Under utility lines

Landscape Uses:

  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen,
  • Utility

Size Range:

  • Small tree (15-25 feet),
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)

Mature Height:

12-20 feet

Mature Width:

10-20 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Location of Cornus x rutgersensis (C. florida x C. kousa) (Hybrid flowering dogwood) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.