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Turquoise Puya

Cornus florida sub. urbaniana

Mystifying and beautiful, the "Magic Dogwood" - Cornus florida subspecies urbiniana - is a rare Mexican version of the common American Dogwood tree.  Looking like exotic Chinese lanterns, these incredible blooms dazzle the eye by the hundreds each spring.  Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.  This is a very hard-to-find tree.  I don't know any other source for fresh seeds.

Cornus florida sub. urbiniana

The Magic Dogwood grows to about 20 feet tall here in San Francisco.  The leaves are slightly bluer than the common species.  In the spring, the tree puts on its show of decorative blooms, which are unusually large for Dogwoods.  The white bracts are fused together at the ends to create an unusual, cage-like shape around the flowers.  As you can see, the effect is truly spectacular.  This is a naturally-occurring tree, not a cultivated hybrid!

The Magic Dogwood comes from the mountain forests of eastern Mexico, where it is rare.  The climate there is spring-like year round, however the tree has been cold-hardy in Zone 6 here in the U.S.  I recommend protecting it from frost the first 3 years.  You may grow it in a pot and move indoors for the winter.  It doesn't seem to mind warm summers provided that nights aren't too warm.  The tree normally grows in the forest understory, so it appreciates some protection from strong afternoon sun.

Cornus florida sub. urbiniana

 

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Turquoise Puya

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