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(Wedding Cake Tree )

Cornus controversa is a small, deciduous tree growing up to 15m in height. Its architectural tiered appearance makes it the perfect specimen or focal point in any garden or parkland. Brought here from China and Japan, it has been grown in the UK since the late 19th Century.

In Spring, green, elliptic leaves appear alternately on the branches followed by clusters of tiny, white, star shaped flowers in May/ June. The flowers have a scent which attracts the insects for pollination. Green berries ripen to blue-black in Autumn and provide a valuable food source for birds. The foliage will also turn to reds and purples giving a beautiful autumn show.

Once the branches are bare, Cornus controversa still makes an attractive tree due to its ornamental, tiered form.

Cornus controversa 'Variegata'

A smaller variety only growing to 8-10 metres and the leaves are bright green with a thick cream margin. All other features are the same as Cornus controversa.

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Plant Profile

Name: Cornus controversa

Common Name: Wedding Cake Tree - due to its distinctive tiered habit

Family: Cornaceae

Height: Up to 15m

Demands: Although tolerant of dappled shade, grown best in full sun and neutral soil

Flowers: Clusters of tiny, white, flowers

Foliage: Elliptical, green leaves. ‘Variegata’ has a broad cream margin

Fruit: Small green berries ripening to blue-black in Autumn

Cornus controversa info sheet

FACT: 3rd May 2011 - The Duchess of Cornwall planted a 'Wedding Cake Tree' to commemorate the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Cornus controversa standard

Cornus controversa standard in flower

Cornus controversa

4-5m feathered plant

Cornus controversa berries

Cornus controversa berries

New leaves in Spring

New leaves in Spring

Wedding Cake Tree - 3-4m multistem

3-4m multistem

Flower buds  Cornus controversa

Flower buds in May / June

Cornus controversa Variegata

Cornus controversa Variegata 2.5-3.0m multistem


Deepdale Trees Ltd.,
Tithe Farm, Hatley Road,
Potton, Sandy,
Beds. SG19 2DX.

  01767 26 26 36


Deepdale Trees

Grower of the UK's finest and widest selection of semi mature trees and shrubs.
From our convenient location in the heart of England, we are able to make year round deliveries Europe wide, selecting from over 140 acres of UK production. We are also able to source plants on request through our extensive supply network. Fully plant-passported and therefore able to supply trees throughout the UK and Europe.

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Standard trees, semi-mature trees, multi-stemmed, feathered, topiary and hedging.