(Cornus florida)
It’s happier in regions with more acidic water and soil, but people love to plant this dogwood nonetheless. Horizontal layered branches hold out four-petaled white flowers in the spring before the leaves come out. Fall color is reliable reds and golds, and red berries add winter interest. Needs good bed prep (like an azalea), plenty of water and shade. A remnant population resides in Dogwood Canyon, an Audubon-managed retreat near the Cedar Hill escarpment which only opens for special spring viewings. (Note: C. drummondii, the roughleaf dogwood, does grow well here. It is shrubbier, suckers around a bit, and blooms with rounded white cyme after the leaves are out. Great for stream banks and natural areas; a bit scruffy for most city people.)

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