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Woody > Cornus > Cornus walteri > Cornus walteri

Cornus walteri

Walter's Dogwood, Wangerin

Origin:  Native to central China, introduced to the United States in 1907.
            Mike's Opinion

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The Walter dogwood is an interesting tree native to central China. Good seasonal features with beautiful white flowers in the spring, dark green foliage throughout the summer and showy red autumn colour’s that hide small black fleshy fruits are its outstanding features. The berries attract a variety of birds, squirrels and other wildlife. The bark has a very unique and interesting pattern that resembles the hide of an alligator. It grows as wide as it does tall and can be used as a shade tree or possibly even a residential street tree. Handles drought well and doesn’t get many pests or diseases.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6 - 8
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
10 m
7 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Wangerin is a small to medium size tree with 'alligator hide' like bark, white flower’s in the spring and green leaves that turn red in the autumn.
Cornus walteri is a multi-seasonal plant due to its white flowers in the spring, and dark green leaves that turn red in the autumn while the fruit attract birds, squirrels and a variety of other mammals. Great for shade and can be possibly used as a residential street tree.
Cornus walteri can grow in full sun but prefers partial shade and humid areas with well-drained soils such as clay, loam or sand.
Vase shaped initially but then slightly pendulous branching at maturity.
ID Characteristic
A very unique 'alligator hide' like bark. Small round black fleshy fruit and simple green ovate leaves.
May be prone canker, leaf spot and branch blight, powdery mildew and dogwood borer.
Found in mixed forests of varying canopy density from 300-3000 m.
Bark/Stem Description
Walter's Dogwood has a unique and irregular pattern in the bark and looks like alligator hide and is typically a grey or brown colour.
Leaf Description
A simple dark green leaf, ovate in shape and opposite in arrangement. It has pinnate venation and can range from 5 - 13 cm long, and 3 - 5 cm wide. The leaf also has fine suppressed hairs more so abaxil.
Flower Description
Small white flowers are produced in 5 - 8 cm corymbose cymes.
Fruit Description
Walter's Dogwood has small round shaped fruit, up to 2 cm in diameter. This fleshy black fruit is inconspicuous amongst the red autumn leaves. The fruit attracts birds, squirrels as well as other small mammals. Thankfully the fruit doesn't leave a significant mess on the ground after it falls and can thus be planted near driveways and patios. The fruit ripen from August-October.
Colour Description
C. walteri has a grey to brown bark, white flowers in the spring, dark green leaves that change to red in the autumn and small black fleshy fruits.
Texture Description
Medium texture.
Notable Specimens
Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex, England.
Remove the flesh from the seed as it contains germination inhibitors. Seed may take 18 months or more to germinate and benefits from a warm stratification at 15°C for a week prior to cold stratification at 5°C for 4 months. Cuttings of semi-hardwood stems rooted in sand in cold frame in July provide acceptable results.
Michael A. Dirr “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses” 6th Edition: 312