Cherokee Chief Dogwood
Botanical Name: Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’
Alternate Name: Cherokee Chief Flowering Dogwood
The Cherokee Chief Dogwood is a wonderful ornamental tree for the landscape, prized for the profusion of springtime blooms it produces. This small deciduous tree has a graceful pyramidal form that can flatten on the top as it matures. It grows to a height and width of 15-30 feet. This tree, also known as Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief,’ is native to eastern North America and can easily be described as one of the region’s most beautiful native trees.
The showy, deep pink or red blooms of the Cherokee Chief Dogwood cover the tree in April or May. This tree can be planted with the Redbud (Cercis) species for a spectacular spring-blooming garden. The flat flowers consist of 4 bracts rather than petals, with the yellow-green, smaller true flower parts in the center. They are approximately 3-4 inches in diameter.
In the late summer or fall, the tree produces bright red berries, inedible to humans but very attractive to birds. They can persist on the tree throughout the fall and into the winter. The leaves of the Cherokee Chief Dogwood are oval and dark green with the typical dogwood parallel venation. The foliage turns a beautiful brick red color in the fall.
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’ can be susceptible to anthracnose, powdery mildew, and canker.
Height: 15-30 ft.
Width: 15-30 ft.
Shape: Pyramidal, Broad
Flower Color: Red/deep pink
Flowering Time: April-May
Fall Color: Red
Features: Stunning spring flower display, bright red fall color, red berries in the fall
Exposure: Sun to Part Shade
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Moist, rich, and acidic well-drained soil.
Growth Rate: Slow
USDA Zones: 5-9
Uses: Specimen/accent tree, patio tree, lawn tree, massed plantings, mixed borders, wildlife gardens
Similar trees: Cornus kousa, Cornus x 'Rutgan'