Cornus Venus or Dogwood Venus is a relatively new flowering dogwood hybrid. It was achieved by crossing the Cornus Nuttallii Pacific dogwood with the Cornus Kousa Chinensis Chinese dogwood. This petite tree was developed at Rutgers University by Dr. Elwin Orton. The hybrid was created in 1983 and released to the public in 2006. It was observed closely for two decades and found to be a very robust tree that features superb disease and pest resistance. It quickly won the ‘Grower of the Year Award for 2009 - Most Distinguished New Plant, U.K’ at the Planetarium 2007 in the Netherlands and the IPM 2008 held in Essen, Germany.
The small ornamental Dogwood Venus tree is known for creating profuse ovate bracts that open into creamy white flowers that are exceptionally eye-catching. The huge blossoms typically measure over 15 centimeters across and almost completely cover the tree. The blooms appear from mid to late May and last for several weeks. After flowering, large pink fruits appear on the branches of the tree that look like strawberries. The fruits persist into the autumn months and add visual interest to the tree. Cornus Venus has completed its flowering cycle, it is advisable to remove any dead wood and discard.
Cornus Venus grows to a height of 4 to 6 metres with a similar spread. The branches form a rounded canopy that tends to be wider than the tree is tall. The tree’s branches grow low to the ground. It features glossy, green foliage that turns a spectacular reddish hue in the autumn months.
Dogwood Venus is an outstanding landscape tree that is sure to draw much admiration. It grows best when placed in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It requires well-draining acidic to neutral soil that is high in humus. Avoid planting it in nutrient-poor, chalky, dry soil. It also does not like overly wet feet. Keep the soil evenly moist, especially during the tree’s first year of life, to encourage a diverse strong root system. Once established, the tree has a very good reputation for withstanding drought.
After planting, it is advisable to spread a layer of winter mulch across the tree’s root system. Unlike other dogwood hybrids, the Dogwood Venus has exceptional cold tolerance. It can resist temperatures down to -20.6 Celsius.
If you are looking for a small garden tree that is a real showstopper then you won’t be disappointed with the Dogwood Venus. It provides ongoing visual interest to any landscape, is easy to care and very hardy.