Cornus controversa, commonly known as the wedding cake tree or giant dogwood, is a deciduous tree native to East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. It belongs to the dogwood family (Cornaceae) and can grow up to 10-15 meters tall and 8 meters wide. The tree has a distinctive tiered habit, with branches that are arranged in horizontal layers.
The leaves of Cornus controversa are ovate to elliptic in shape, 7-14 cm long, and turn a reddish-purple color in the fall. The tree produces clusters of small, white flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by small, bluish-black berries that ripen in the fall.
Cornus controversa is a popular ornamental tree in gardens and parks due to its attractive appearance and interesting branching habit. It prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun exposure. While it can tolerate some drought, it benefits from regular watering during dry spells.
In terms of cultivation, Cornus controversa is relatively easy to grow and is generally free of major pest and disease issues. However, it can be susceptible to damage from strong winds or heavy snow, particularly when the tree is young. Pruning can be done in the winter or early spring to help maintain its shape and promote healthy growth.
It's important to note that Cornus controversa is considered invasive in some areas outside of its native range, particularly in parts of Europe and North America. Therefore, it's essential to check with local authorities before planting this tree to ensure it's not a threat to local ecosystems.