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By Paul Cappiello and Don Shadow

This long-needed work brings us up to speed on the latest and best cultivars.


Dogwood trees and shrubs are unquestionably among the superstars of the ornamental garden. Although cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) and common dogwood (C. sanguinea) have been grown in Europe since ancient times, it is only since the age of exploration in the 18th and 19th centuries that dogwoods from the New World and Asia have ascended to the high thrones of gardens, where their aristocracy remains unchallenged today. Given the huge popularity of dogwoods as garden plants, not to mention the hundreds of choice selections and hybrids that have come to prominence in recent decades, it is surprising that there has never been a horticultural book on the genus. Paul Cappiello fills this longstanding gap with this definitive treatment for gardeners and enthusiasts. Providing a solid overview of all dogwoods of horticultural merit, the author provides more than two hundred stunning photos to help with the daunting tasks of identification and plant selection. He provides helpful details on cultivation, combating pests and diseases, and the fundamentals of breeding and selection. Based on years of research, first-hand observation, and interviews with dozens of specialists and nurserypeople, Dogwoods is an unprecedented guide to the diversity of plants available in nurseries today. Written in engaging and informative prose, this book will be treasured by generations of gardeners.

Media reviews

"You'll find practical advice for growing dogwoods as well as a mind-blowing variety of them in [this] dauntingly thorough book."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"A ground-breaking and worthy text."

—Dick Bir, American Gardener

"A wonderful new book ... [with] hundreds of pictures."

—Joan Lowell Smith, Newark Star-Ledger

"An unprecedented guide to the diversity of plants available in nurseries today. Written in engaging and informative prose, this book will be treasured by generations of gardeners."

Rainy Side Gardeners

"It is obvious this book will be referred to time and time again to diagnose any problems I encounter with the genus. Nurserymen, landscape architects, in fact all who come into contact or grow these plants will find this book an essential one to have and refer to it, over and over again. I am so pleased to have a copy."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

"The strength of this book is the excellent detailed description of the many different plants in each of the categories. They mince no words when describing the plants ... I should have owned this book 50 years ago."

—Dorothy Rodal, Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Bulletin

"A book for both the serious student and interested gardener ... beautiful, well written, and quite comprehensive."

—Jeneen Wiche, Shelbyville Sentinel-News

"This book should be a bible for nurserymen and a source of fascination and information for the gardener."

—Bill Andrus, East Oregonian

"is almost an over-the-rainbow sort of listing, spanning five groups from ground covers and shrubs to trees. The book, with pictures taken mostly by Cappiello, offers the adventuresome gardener a lifetime of possibilities to plant."

—Diane Heilenman, Louisville Courier-Journal

"This long-needed work brings us up to speed on the latest and best cultivars emerging from dogwood breeding programs across the country and around the world."


"It is a well researched and complete text for professionals and homeowners."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

"Beneath each species, Cappeillo and Shadow alphabetically arrange the plant's cultivars, forms, and varieties ... this wealth of information is accompanied by 238 stunning color photographs."

—George Cohen, Booklist

"The book is beautifully photographed, with excellent pictures to help the gardener discern types of dogwoods just by looking."

—Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star

"I started out reading this book in a precursory fashion to write a review, i.e. not reading all; then I found myself reading large sections, addicted to the mention of the greats."


"The book will appeal to a wide range of plants people, from professional nurserymen to amateur gardeners. The writing is warm, personable and friendly—yet packed with ... useful horticultural knowledge."

—Mary Tucker, Nativescape

"Shadow and Cappiello demonstrate how much Dogwoods can do and outline requirements for these versatile plants."

Design NJ

"Dogwoods is the perfect guidebook for determining the type of dogwood best suited for one's garden and highly recommended for anyone interested in cultivating these beautiful plants. A highly informative species-by-species detail, intended especially for gardeners but accessible to lay readers as well."

Library Bookwatch

"If you are a dogwood collector this is a must book for you."

—George Graine, Virginia Master Gardeners Association Report

"Particularly valuable for its description and illustration of so many named forms, particularly of Cornus kousa, C. florida, and their hybrids ... a very good introduction to the genus."

—Martyn Rix, International Dendrology Society Yearbook

About the authors

Paul Cappiello

Paul Cappiello is a teacher, writer, garden designer, and gardener. Known internationally for his 20 years of research of cold tolerance, nursery production, and much more, he lectures across the country to gardeners, college classes, horticultural professionals, and academic audiences.

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Don Shadow

Don Shadow is owner of Shadow Nursery, a wholesale nursery in Winchester, Tennesse, specializing in woody ornamentals and rare and unusual plants. He received his bachelor's degree in horticulture at the University of Tennessee and has served as past president of both the International Plant Propagator's Society (Eastern region) and the Southern Nurserymen's Association.

Read more about Don Shadow

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