Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Princess’ (Dogwood)
This beautiful three-season understory tree is grafted on Cornus kousa rootstock, which makes is more resistant to anthracnose, a common disease among native dogwoods (destructive fungus appearing on leaves and twigs). In spring, it reliably delivers a spectacular flower show with snow-white blossoms four inches across. The flowers are replaced by berries that persist through winter and provide food for birds. In the fall, leaves turn burgundy-bronze with red and orange highlights, making it one of America’s favorite full-season landscape trees.
An American Indian legend reveals the story of a young and beautiful Cherokee princess who was slain by a jealous lover for not returning his affections. As she lay dying under a dogwood tree, she used the flower petals to restrict the flow of blood from her wounds, to no avail. It is believed that the tip of each dogwood flower now bears a red blemish in her honor.