Within the Cornus alba article...


Undoubtedly the handsomest of all the variegated cornels, and perhaps the most effective of all deciduous, yellow-variegated shrubs in cultivation. A mass on a lawn has a most striking aspect all the summer through, for the plant has the great virtue of never having its foliage scorched by summer sun, although the major part of the leaf is bright yellow; nor does it become dull as the season advances, like many shrubs of this colour do. When visiting Spath’s nursery at Rixdorf, near Berlin, many years ago, I was told that this remarkable shrub originated there on a stem of ordinary Cornus alba, on which had been grafted a scion of the variegated sort. The graft died, but just beneath the point of union a yellow variegated twig appeared, which was removed and propagated, and is the ‘Spaethii’ as we know it today. The bark is red in winter. The shrub does not need a very rich soil, and like the rest of the forms of C. alba, can be propagated by cuttings of leafless wood placed in the open ground in late autumn, or by late summer leafy shoots under glass. The outer branches can be easily layered.


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