Dreamboat Dogwood


Five years ago I planted a Cornus Kousa “Venus” for a client.  I was not familiar with the variety, but even as a small tree, it flowered with enormous cream-white flowers. I planted it on a lark, the flowers were so compelling.   I saw that tree last spring for the first time since I had planted it;   in only 4 years time, the tree had grown considerably larger, and was completely covered with hundreds of enormous white blooms. It has to be the most beautiful dogwood I have ever seen.  This spring I found 41 of them in 25 gallon pots.  I wanted to be able to have small trees that people could plant themselves; this dogwood is making it really easy for people to take a tree home.
Bred by Dr. Elwin Orton Jr. of Rutgers University,  it is an interspecific hybrid of Cornus Kousa, and Cornus Kousa x Nuttalli.  It matures at 20 feet tall, and 20-30 feet wide.  Resistant to anthracnose, and other illnesses that can plague dogwoods, it is also quite hardy.  All this aside, it is a striking small flowering tree in bloom, and in leaf. I would plant it with a fair amount of sun.  I think this tree belongs in that select group of garden plants that are gorgeous all around.
My gorgeous group includes hydrangea “limelight”, the Griffith Bucks rose, “Carefree Beauty”,  the lactiflora peony “Mrs. FDR”,  the maple “Princeton Gold”, the boxwood “Green Velvet”; I should stop here, as my gorgeous list is probably more than you ever wanted to hear about.  Every gardener I know has their own gorgeous list. You might consider adding this dogwood to your list,  should you have room for one more stunningly beautiful plant.


  1. Such an interesting plant. The flowers are almost flat resting on the leaves. From far, its like snow…..

    ~ bangchik

  2. I do, I have, and it is just as beautiful as your photos. It started out lime green and delicate and is now pure white and brilliant. I love it and enjoy it breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!

  3. Oh, would that I could! But I’ll remember this and look out for it for my less sand-challenged friends. Sometimes I have to get my garden jollies vicariously.

  4. Please, what else is on your gorgeous list?

  5. I’m trying in vain to find a source for this tree I’ve read so much about! You’d think living in NJ, where it was created, it would be possible to find one in a nursery!

    I’d love it if you could share where I might be able to find one that could be shipped to West Orange, NJ. Thanks!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Peggy, when I googled venus dogwood for sale new jersey I got RareFindNursery.com. If they don’t carry or have it, call Rutgers University hort dept-maybe they know of a New Jersey nursery that might carry it. Good luck! Deborah

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