An open-field evaluation of 38 dogwood (Cornus) cultivars was conducted in central Alabama from May 1996 to March 1998. Mortality increased dramatically in giant dogwood (C. controversa Hemsl.), kousa dogwood cultivars (C. kousa Hance), and kousa x flowering dogwood hybrids (C. kousa x florida) from August 1996 to August 1997. Little mortality was observed for the flowering dogwood selections (C. florida L.) during this same period. Further characterization, based on height and stem diameter increases, was conducted on 23 flowering dogwood cultivars. Greatest average annual height and stem diameter increases for cultivars with white bracts and green foliage were observed in ‘Cloud 9’, ‘Fragrant Cloud’, ‘Ozark Spring’, ‘Springtime’, ‘Weaver’, ‘Welch Bay Beauty’, and ‘World's Fair’. Lowest average annual height and stem diameter increases occurred with ‘Autumn Gold’ and Wonderberry®. Among the selections with red or pink bracts and green foliage, ‘Stoke's Pink’ and ‘Welch's Junior Miss’ had greater annual average increases in height and stem diameter than ‘Purple Glory’. Annual average increases in height and final heights were similar among all cultivars with variegated foliage, with ‘First lady’ showing the greatest annual average increase in stem diameter and final stem diameter.

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Author notes

2Graduate assistant.

3Professor.

4Associate professor.