Why the Wolf Eyes Variegated Japanese Dogwood?
Wolf Eyes Dogwood is a variegated Kousa Dogwood that will light up those shady corners of your landscape. This rare, choice flowering tree sports mint green foliage edged in white—so much white, in fact, that from a distance you might think the tree was in full bloom! When the creamy white flowers do arrive in late spring, there will be no mistaking those large, starry blooms for leaves. You’ll also want to revisit this spectacular variegated Dogwood tree in late summer when the cherry-sized red fruits ripen. They look like Cap’n Crunchberries, and they taste like papaya!
Japanese “Kousa” Dogwoods were unknown to the West until the 1870s, when Thomas Hogg, Jr. managed to send seeds to his brother in New York, who ran the nursery their father had established many years before. A U.S. Marshall in Japan, Hogg was able to get his hands on some of the choicest trees that we still grow today, like “Kousa” Dogwood, Japanese Stewartia, Katsura Tree, and Fragrant Snowbell. ‘Wolf Eyes’ was discovered in 1988 when it was found as a single branch mutation at Manor View Farm Nursery in Monkton, Maryland.
How to use in the landscape?
Looking for a specimen tree? Well, you found one! Gee… where to start?! The leaves are long, pointy and kind of crinkly looking, not to mention variegated! The green centers are surrounded by creamy white margins. Four large white bracts (that look like flower petals) form the star-shaped "flowers" in late spring/summer. As flowers fade, red-orange fruit takes over in late summer. Let's not forget about the awesome pink to red fall color!! Like I said, this is the specimen tree you've been looking for!
Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Mature Height: 15-20' tall
Mature Width: 15-20' wide
Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
Spacing: 15-20' apart
How To Plant
Wolf Eyes Variegated Kousa Dogwood is an uncommon tree, which is surprising, given how easy it is to please and how much it has to offer. This naturally disease-resistant tree enjoys a site in part shade and wants regular irrigation but no “wet feet.” It has a preference for acid soils, so if rhododendrons and azaleas grow well in your area, this is definitely the tree for you (though it’s adaptable to other situations, too).
How To Water
Water weekly, or better yet, use the Bower & Branch® Water Element to deliver just the right amount of moisture to your tree throughout the growing season.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
As your tree grows, you’ll probably want to remove the lowermost branches to show off that amazing jigsaw-puzzle bark! Pruning is best done shortly after the flowers are spent.
Hardiness Zone: 5-8