Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’, also aptly-named as the ‘Wedding Cake Tree’, is a small, deciduous tree that creates a spectacular focal point in the garden thanks to its amazing tiered branches covered with a mass of tiny white flowers, which resemble the layers of a traditional wedding cake.

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A wonderful white display

The tiny white flowers of Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ first appear in spring and flower throughout summer. Its narrowly shaped, mid to light-green leaves have broad cream margins which add to the overall white display. In autumn, the tree produces blue, almost black, berries (which are not edible!) and its leaves turn yellow.

Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ Growing tips

This tree is suitable for planting in small and large gardens and is relatively low maintenance. It is fully hardy and tolerant of most soil types, reaching an eventual height and spread of up to eight metres when fully matured, which can take between 20 and 50 years.

Plant in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded position. Regular pruning is not required as this would interrupt its natural tiered growing habit – only prune diseased or damaged branches, or if you are trying to limit its overall size.”