||There are about 40 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs in this genus. A few are ornamental and garden grown for their autumn leaf color, their colored winter stems and their branches covered in blankets of ?flowers?, which may be composed of large petals or wide, decorative bracts surrounding small insignificant flowers. The simple oval leaves are usually opposite each other, and the fleshy fruits have stones.
||CULTIVATION: Requirements include sun or semi-shade, good drainage and a fertile neutral to acid soil. Those grown for their winter stem color are best grown in full sun and cut back in early spring. In the right climates and conditions cornus are easily grown but, if pushed to their limits, may fail to flower or fall victim to mildew, leaf spot and crown canker. Propagate the multi-stemmed species by layering of sucker growths, from hardwood cuttings taken in summer or autumn, or from seed which should be cleaned of flesh and cold-stratified for at least 3 months. The large-bracted species can be raised from seed (also stratified), half-hardened cuttings in summer, or by grafting in the case of prized cultivars.