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Cornus (florida)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Cornaceae
Family Common Name: Dogwood Family
Scientific Name: Cornus florida
Common Name: Flowering dogwood
Species Code: CORFLO
Ecotype: Shenandoah National Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway
General Distribution: Maine to southern Ontario, Michigan, Illinois and Kansas, south to Florida and northeast Mexico. Found in acid woodlands.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Plug + (container-field grown hybrids)
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Bareroot and container plant material. Height: Bareroot plants only about 10 inches after 2 years. Root System: Information unavailable.
Propagule Collection: Collected at Shenandoah National Park by J. Englert on 10/21/92 and 10/5/93; by J. Kujawski on 10/28/96; George Washington Memorial Parkway by J. Kujawski on 11/5/96.
Propagule Processing: Seeds/Kg: Average of 9,800.
Germination: We have seen a germination range of 2%-14%.
Purity: Purity is approximately 98%.
Seed Processing: Information unavailable.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None; seeds are sown in early fall totake advantage of warmer temperatures for natural stratification prior to winter.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Outdoor nursery beds.

Seed Propagation Method: Hand-sown.

Container Type and Volume: 1/2 gallon containers.

Growing Media: In containers, plants are grown in woody mix (3.8 cu ft. bale Sunshine #1, 4 cu. ft. of pine bark mulch, and 20 oz. Nutricote).
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: September-October.

% Emergence and Date: Seedlings emerge the spring after fall sowing.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are imbibed in water overnight, dusted with fungicide and hand sown into rows (rows are 5 to 6 inches apart). Endomycorrhizae are sprinkled over the seed before covering with about 3/4 inch of soil. The beds are then mulched with aged sawdust.

Establishment Phase: Sawdust mulch is scraped back in spring prior to seedling emergence. Newly emerged seedlings are monitored closely for irrigation needs. Young seedlings are shaded as soon as they emerge with poly screening at 30%. Shade cloth remains over seedlings until mid-August.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Because National Plant Materials Center soil is a nutrient poor sandy loam, seedlings are fertilized from mid-April with a granular 10-10-10 once a week through early June. From mid-June through late July, the 10-10-10 is alternated with a granular urea every other week. From late July through late August the seedlings are fertilized with 10-10-10 every two weeks. Overhead irrigation is used after every fertilization. The rate of water applied is determined by soil moisture prior to irrigation.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: During mid- to late summer, fertilization is cut back to twice monthly. Beginning in September, irrigation is only used in a severe droughty situation.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: Bareroot plants are harvested after 2 years in the ground.

Harvest Date: Dormant bareroot plants are harvested in early to mid-December.

Storage Conditions: Bareroot plants are bundled into groups, and long roots are trimmed. Root trimmings are saved for vegetative propagation use. Bundles are placed into plastic bins; roots are covered with sawdust. Bins are placed into a cold storage room (40§F) and watered as needed during the winter. Half-gallon container plants are stored outside. Containers are laid on their side on weed barrier fabric, and covered with 2 layers of a microfoam insulating blanket. The blanket is secured over plants by threading a rope over the blanket between rebar anchors on either side of a block of plants.

Seed storage: Seeds that are not sown right away are stored in paper seed envelopes or plastic screw-lid bottles in a seed cooler at 40§F and 35% relative humidity.

Seed dormancy: Seeds have both embryo dormancy and a hard pericarp; warm, moist stratification followed by cold, moist stratification will break dormancy (USDA, 1974).
Length of Storage: <b>Storage Duration:</b> December to March.
References: Brown and Brown. 1992. Woody Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc.

Gleason, H and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd edition. New York Bot. Garden.

USDA, Forest Service. 1974. Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States. USDA, Ag. Handbook 450.

USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center. Woody bed and container plant records. Unpublished data.


Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Plug + (container-field grown hybrids) Cornus florida plants USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/09/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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