Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

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Q: You added a swamp dogwood to your demonstration garden this year. I have never heard of this tree. Please give me more information.

Swamp Dogwood

Swamp Dogwood

A:  Swamp dogwood, Cornus foemina is found frequently throughout Florida’s wet hammocks, along the edges of swamps and floodplain forests. It grows to 15 feet high, with stiff, upright branches, reddish-purplish stems; dark green leaves which are 1 to 4 inches long.  The creamy white flowers bloom in a cluster measuring up to 3 inches across.  The fruit turn blue once they mature in the fall. Typical of most dogwood plants, this shrub is deciduous and drops its leaves in the fall.  It should be planted in partially shady sites in well-drained, moist areas but not in continually wet soil.  It prefers slightly acidic soil.