Cornus controversa

Cornus controversa
C. controversa 'Variegata' in the National Botanic Garden of Belgium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus
Subgenus: Mesomora
Species: C. controversa
Binomial name
Cornus controversa

Cornus controversa (wedding cake tree), syn. Swida controversa, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Cornus of the dogwood family Cornaceae, native to China, the Himalayas and Japan. It is a deciduous tree growing to 50 ft (15 m), with multiple tiered branches. Flat panicles of white flowers appear in summer, followed by globose black fruit. The leaves turn a rich red-purple in autumn. It is cultivated in gardens and parks in temperate regions.[1][2]

It is also sometimes referred to as Bothrocaryum contraversa (Hemsl.) Pojark when seeds are offered for online sale.

The variety C. controversa 'Variegata' has leaves with cream margins, which turn yellow in autumn, and grows to a lesser size than its parent - typically 25 ft (8 m). It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]


  1. RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
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