Eddie’s White Wonder

Friday, May 25th, 2012 by Jenny Watts
    • Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give a gift of a living plant. Rhododendrons, lilacs, hanging fuchsias and ivy geraniums are sure to please her.
    • Plant an herb garden in a container near the kitchen door for convenient fresh spices like basil, oregano, parsley and thyme.
    • Thin fruit trees now while fruits are still small. Thin apples to 6 inches apart and peaches to 4 inches apart. On Asian pears leave 1 fruit per spur.
    • Dahlias, lilies and begonias come in a variety of colors. Plant the roots now for flowers this summer.
    • Calibrachoa, or Million Bells, are a trailing, miniature petunia. Plant them in full sun for a profusion of 1” wide flowers from spring to frost.

Eddie’s White Wonder

It’s a wonder that more people don’t grow and enjoy ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ Dogwood. It has been commercially propagated and available in the trade since 1955, ten years after it was discovered by Henry M. Eddie, a Vancouver, B.C. nurseryman.

The “white wonder” part of the name refers to the prolific, attractive white blossoms that the tree produces in spring. The big, beautiful white flowers grow to more than four inches in diameter. Composed of four to six large, rounded and overlapping bracts, these blooms create a striking display.

Its dark green foliage is handsome throughout the summer months, and in the fall, it turns a brilliant, rich red. Small red fruits decorate its branches in winter and attract robins, mockingbirds and cedar waxwings.

Dappled sunlight illuminates the showy blooms of ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ dogwood. A hybrid of the Pacific Northwest native dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, and the Eastern dogwood, Cornus florida, it grows taller and has larger flowers than Cornus florida. It is also easier to grow, more resistant to anthracnose, and generally more adaptable than its other parent, Pacific Dogwood.

Upright and rather pyramidal in form, with slightly pendulous branches, ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ grows to a height of about 25 feet with a spread of 15-20 feet. They grow naturally in partial shade, but will also grow in full sun with ample summer watering. Too much shade will cause them to produce fewer flowers.

They prefer well-drained, acid soils high in organic matter and like evenly moist soil conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. Be sure your site is well-drained even in the winter.

Dogwoods are low maintenance trees. They should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. Careful thinning will enhance the horizontal branching pattern but improper pruning can ruin the lovely layered effect. Remove crossing limbs when in flower and use the lovely cut branches for house decorations.

The flowering of ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ is somewhat dependent upon the previous years summer weather. After a long hot summer, the spring flowering will be magnificent, so they generally bloom very well in our area.

‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ is a fine specimen tree planted in a prominent corner of the yard. It looks lovely planted with Lily-of-the-valley shrub, Pieris japonica, variegated holly bushes and evergreens. And you can surround it with lush, bold Hosta plants, which will form a ground cover and act as a living mulch.

Dogwoods have special interest every season of the year – in spring with beautiful flowers; in summer with attractive, healthy foliage; in fall with brilliant red berries and vivid autumn color; in winter with their picturesque horizontal branching pattern. Find a place for ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ in your landscape.