Plant of the Month June 2017

June PoM

Cornus controversa ‘variegata’ commonly known as the Wedding Cake Tree is a member of the family cornaceae. It was introduced to this country by Veitch nursery in 1880 and has an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

It is a slow growing deciduous small tree, with distinctive tiered horizontal branches. The leaves are light green with a broad cream margin. In June the cream coloured clusters of flowers are borne like candles at the end of the branches. The Wedding Cake Tree is an apt name for this delightful little tree that is ideal for a small garden, growing in time to about 6m.

148mmx105.off internet

Cornus is a genus of about 30 to 60 species commonly known as dogwoods and native throughout the temperate zones of Eurasia and N. America, particularly the South Eastern states.

There is a theory that the name dogwood is derived from the old English dagwood. The stems of this extremely hard wood were used to make daggers, skewers and arrows. An earlier name of whipple tree refers to part of the traction element of horse drawn carts. Chaucer wrote of it in ‘The Knight’s Tale’.

There are a number of dogwoods in the garden at Reveley but the Wedding Cake Tree is growing near the bank on the sunclock lawn in dappled shade. The books say it should be in full sun. Indeed I feel it would have been better sited away from the bank where all its branches could have had full stretch.

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May 2017

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December 2016

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