Flowering dogwoods are a favorite southeastern U.S. ornamental with four season interest. Showy leaves emerge before leaves in the spring. Summer foliage is lush, with consistent red to reddish purple fall color that persists for several weeks. Their glossy red fruits are a favorite of birds. During the winter, their horizontally spreading branches and flat-topped crowns show off a beautiful layered habit. Naturally an understory tree, they prefer afternoon shade and soils rich in organic matter. Amend lean soils with compost. Cherokee Princess is one of the best varieties: good hardiness, highly disease resistant, and consistent, profuse floral display. Large bracts are up to 5 inches across and appear early in the season.