20130521-101725.jpg One of the most underused of our native east coast small trees is the beautiful pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifolia. The tiered branching, deep green foliage, brilliant fall color, clusters of small white flowers, and blue-black fruit held on red stalks make this 25' tree a true four season performer. The added bonus of cheery gold variegation on the selection 'W. Stackman' known in the trade as Golden Shadows takes this plant to a new level. The screaming gold edged foliage emerges in spring as one of the brightest plants in the garden competing with any flowering plant. The flowers are somewhat lost against the foliage but who really cares. As summer progresses, the variegation fades in the southeast. Plant in dappled shade or full sun if adequate water is provided.