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We’re thrilled to announce that Cheekwood’s Dogwood (Cornus) collection, featuring 14 species and 23 cultivated varieties, has recently been granted North American Plant Collection Consortium (NAPCC) Member Status. We are honored to have the first dogwood collection included in the NAPCC, and to have the first NAPCC-recognized collection in the state of Tennessee.

This recognition places Cheekwood in a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections, managed at the highest professional level. It’s not only a reflection of our long-term commitment to the conservation and care of our collections, but another important step in growing Cheekwood's national reputation as one of the country's most beautiful gardens.

The impressive size and diversity of our dogwood collection made Cheekwood an ideal candidate for NAPCC membership status. Collection highlights include 23 cultivated varieties of Flowering Dogwood, (Cornus florida), with a particular emphasis on varieties exhibiting superior disease and insect resistance, bloom, foliage, growth habit, hardiness and vigor.

Most of our dogwoods can be found in the Carell Dogwood Garden, established in 1982 when Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Carell, Jr. donated the original collection of dogwoods to Cheekwood. You’ll find dogwoods in other gardens as well -- all 343 specimens on the Cheekwood estate are considered to be part of the collection.

A walk among Cheekwood’s magnificent flowering dogwoods is one of Nashville’s favorite spring rituals. Watch for the signature blooms in early April, and come celebrate this incredible honor with us!


Cheekwood’s Arboretum is home to several outstanding dogwood specimens that are not to be missed in the spring. One of the most iconic images of spring is a dogwood bloom. You typically think of the dogwood as a flower with four petals. These petals that you see are actually bracts or modified leaves. At the center of these bracts you will find clusters of yellow flowers, which are the true dogwood blooms. Not all dogwoods have bracts as you will discover as you explore our Arboretum through the Self-Guided Arboretum Tour that is located at Visitor Services.

Cornus mas
Corneliancherry Dogwood

This is one of the earliest blooming dogwoods in early spring. Yellow blooms cover this tree and create a yellow cloud of color in the garden. Bright red fruits appear in the summer. Known to be one of the easiest dogwoods to grow here in Middle Tennessee, it grows to be 18 to 25 feet tall and tolerates both sun and shade.

Cornus drummondii
Roughleaf Dogwood

Flatted topped clusters of white flowers cover this small tree from April to early June. White berries are produced later in the fall and a treat for the birds. Green leaves turn purplish red in the fall. This highly adaptable tree, goes both in the sun or shade, wet or dry soil, and reaches a height of 15 to 25 feet.

Cornus angustata
Evergreen Dogwood

Yes, this is an evergreen dogwood found growing in China. It produces stunning crisp white bracts in June that cover the tree, creating almost a giant white snowball. Strawberry like fruit appears in fall. This tree needs protection from winter winds in well-drained soil and part sun. It grows to be 18 to 20 feet tall. A must have in your garden.


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