At the March MAMG meeting, we were treated to a review of new plants for Spring 2012 by Jim Crowder from Dan West Garden Center. We'll be reviewing the plants he shared with us in the coming weeks.
The Wolf Eyes Japanese Dogwood
(Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes')
The Wolf Eyes Cornus kousa is a compact dogwood. The form is spreading, with multiple branches; at maturity, Wolf Eyes reaches 10 feet in height with a slightly greater spread. The foliage is variegated with a white margin and light green interior. In autumn, the leaves develop streaks ranging in color from pink to red. Older trees often develop mottled bark.
The trees produce what appears to be dazzling flowers in late spring to early summer for a period as long as 6 weeks. The four large, white petal-like structures are actually bracts--modified leaves that protect a cluster of three dozen or more tiny flowers at their junction. A colorless bract can't photosynthesize, but its veins bring food manufactured by the tree's chlorophyllous leaves--keeping the bracts vibrant for a week or more. The berry that succeeds flowering is raspberry-like in appearance.
Plant Wolf Eyes in partial shade and in a well-drained, acidic soil. Like other types of Cornus kousa, Wolf Eyes blooms later in the spring than does flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) -- an important factor to consider if you're trying to stagger bloom periods in your landscaping. Don’t forget to provide the tree with sufficient water during hot spells.