Cornus 'NCCH1' PP26,542
- Common Name(s):
- Little Ruby™ Dogwood
- Shrubs, Trees
C. florida is arguably one of the most beautiful of the native American flowering trees and Little RubyTM lives up to her ancestry. It is a truly unique dogwood with a compact form and semi-evergreen foliage that sports a red flush on young leaves followed by a dark maroon fall color. If that wasn’t enough, it has pink flower bracts that range from single to double. Developed as a collaborative project by NC State University and Star Roses & Plants Nursery with support from the Kenan Institute and the NC Biotechnology Center.
Flowering dogwood is the state tree of Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia. Flowering usually overlaps that of redbud trees, creating a beautiful spring display on the edge of forests. Dogwoods are an indicator of rich soil, as its fallen leaves decompose rapidly, improving the soil.
Seasons of Interest:
Foliage: Fall Fruit: Fall-Winter, Drupes
Ethnobotany: Common name of dogwood is a probable reference to an old-time use of hard slender stems from this tree for making skewers once known as dags or dogs. Native Americans used the root bark to counteract poisons and as a general tonic, flowers were infused to reduce fever, and compound infusions of several plant parts were used as blood purifiers.
Wildlife Value: Bright red fruits are poisonous to humans, but are an important fall and winter food for song & forest-edge birds and squirrels. Other plant parts are consumed by black bear, beaver, deer and skunk. Provides shelter and habitat for many wildlife species. Members of the genus Cornus support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Gonandrena) fragilis, Andrena (Gonandrena) integra, and Andrena (Gonandrena) platyparia.
Insects, Diseases and Other Problems: When stressed, is susceptible to a large number of disease problems, most serious is dogwood anthracnose. Other diseases include powdery mildew, leaf spot, canker, root rot and leaf & twig blight. It can also become vulnerable to borers. Leaf miner and scale are less serious potential insect pests.
- Semi-evergreen foliage starts off with red-flushed new leaves, followed by bright green mature leaves with contrasting maroon veins, and finishing with stunning dark maroon fall color. Leaves are opposite and simple; veins follow the elliptic curve of the leaf (arcuate).
- True dogwood flowers are tiny, yellowish-green, button-like clusters (inflorescences) in the center of showy, petal-like bracts. Little Ruby’s bracts are an incredible pink that range from single to double. Flowers are followed by berries (drupes) that contain 1 to 2 ellipsoid seeds, which ripen to a bright red in September and October.
- Can be trained as a large shrub or small tree
- Grows best in partial shade but can tolerate full sun.
- Compact, rounded
NCCES plant id: 3108