Cornus kousa Southern Cross in bloom

Cornus kousa Southern Cross in bloom

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A flowering branch of the dogwood, Cornus Kousa "Southern Cross". The picture shows recently developed blooms. What appear as single "flowers" with four white petals are complex inflorescences. The four white flags are involucral bracts; the green structure at the centre of each bloom is a mass of individual flowers arranged in a cyme. The bracts - the visual equivalent of petals - are initially white, but later develop brilliant scarlet markings due to the production of anthocyanin pigments. In this picture the colour change has begun, at the edges and tips of the bracts."Southern Cross" is a garden selection, originating from New Zealand. It makes an outstanding specimen tree for small gardens, with a floral display followed by scarlet coloured fruits and red autumn leaf colours. The picture is of a tree growing in Norfolk UK in June

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Keywords: anthocyanin, bract, cornus kousa, cyme, dogwood, flower, garden plant, involucral bracts, involucre, southern cross

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