Cherokee chief, Cherokee princess, Cherokee daybreak, mystery, purple glory, Cherokee sunset, Canadian bunchberry, common dogwood, cornelian cherry, flowering dogwood, kousa dogwood, northern swamp, Pacific, pagoda, red osier, rough leaf, stiff and Swedish cornel are just a few of the over 100 varieties of dogwoods that grow in the United States. Dogwoods do well in warmer climates but can be grown in almost all zones.
Dogwoods are in the genus Cornus and are native to the United States, Asia and Europe. Many cultivars have been created to resist insects such as the dogwood borer, and diseases such as powdery mildew and the fungus dogwood anthracnose.
Rosy teacups, stellar pink, variegated stellar pink, hyperion, red pygmy, Saturn, Venus, starlight, aurora, constellation, celestial, Ruth Ellen, stardust and red beauty are some of the newer varieties created at Rutgers University, where dogwood cultivars have been created since the 1970s by breeding American dogwood trees with Asian, or kousa, dogwood trees. The resulting cultivars are hardier, more disease and pest resistant, grow more rapidly and bear larger flowers than native dogwoods. The red pygmy is a dwarf dogwood, bred for small gardens; it grows up to three feet in its first five years, and matures to a height of seven feet after 10 years.