A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Colorful Fruit of Variegated Weeping Korean Dogwood

Cornus kousa Kristin Lipkas Variegated Weeper long shot 091616 640

 

In strong sun, the foliage of the arch of variegated weeping Korean dogwood is startlingly bright, especially with much of the box hedge at the front in shade. The arch is formed from a pair of Cornus kousa 'Kristin Lipka's Variegated Weeper'. Even from across the street, it fairly glows.

 

In late Summer, the creamy white highlights the trees' red fruits with far greater effect than the plain green foliage could. They sparkle against the white-edged foliage, catching the eye even at medium range.

 

Cornus kousa Kristin Lipkas Variegated Weeper medium close east leg 091616 640

 

Below, a bit closer view of the arch's other leg, with the red fruits arrayed above the pendulous branches.

 

Cornus kousa Kristin Lipkas Variegated Weeper western leg 091616 640

 

Despite no irrigation and little rain during a Summer of historic drought and heat, the foliage remains in surprisingly good shape. 

 

Cornus kousa Kristin Lipkas Variegated Weeper fruits foliage closest 091616 640 

 

The coloring of its foliage isn't the only reason this strongly weeping cultivar displays its fruits so well. Below, some foliage of the upright cultivar, Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes', whose variegation is similar. Fruits of 'Wolf Eyes' are displayed above the foliage but, because the foliage faces mostly skyward, not toward the viewer standing on the ground at the side of the tree, the effect isn't nearly as strong.

 

Cornus kousa Wolf Eyes foliage fingers 091616 640

 

Below, a close-up of a fruit of this variegated weeping cultivar. Individual leaves point downward, too, not just the branches. Plus, they also face outward, largely from their position on branches that are strongly pendulous.

 

Cornus kousa Kristin Lipkas Variegated Weeper fruit fingers weeping foliage 091616 640

 

As with an upright cultivar, the fruit still projects outward beyond the plane of the foliage but, because that plane has been tilted almost ninety degrees thanks to the downward cascade of the branches, the show is aimed directly at garden visitors.

 

This variegated weeper displays its fruit better than any green-leaved weeper or upright variegate. It sends its most colorful greetings to its human fans, not to the birds flying overhead.

 

 

Here's the arch two years ago, just as the tips of the two legs were—finally!—about to touch. 

 

Here's how to grow this variegated weeping Korean dogwood, both when trained as an arch and when free standing. You can also see how quickly this cultivar grows: Just a year prior, there were still three or four feet of the arch's frame to cover.

 

 
 
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