National Cornus Collection

Newby Hall’s National Collection of Cornus was started by Mr Robin Compton VMH in 1990. He was an astute Plantsman with a particular passion for trees and shrubs and was already familiar with the genus Cornus.

The collection began its life after Mr Compton moved a struggling Cornus florida Rubra Group from near the hall and replanted it in what subsequently became Cornus Bed 1. The specimen responded by growing well, and the collection was born. His father Major Compton had been growing the most worthy species such as Cornus kousa &C. mas for many years – the oldest example is the fine Cornus kousa on the south-east corner of Cornus Bed 1 planted in 1937.

We now have an extensive and diverse collection of over 100 individual specimens with 30 species represented by 76 different hybrids and forms.

If you would like to find out more about National Collections in the UK the Plant Heritage website can be accessed at


Cornus Trail Booklet

This booklet trail has been put together to show the amazing diversity of this varied genus of shrubs and small trees. When considering Dogwoods most people tend to think of small shrubs grown primarily for their stunning show of coloured winter stems. Our National Collection is, however composed of the lesser known, but equally stunning range of Cornus known collectively as ‘Flowering Dogwoods’. These are varied, the majority producing flowers consisting of four or more bracts – looking very much like petals encircling a small head of greenish flowers. Others produce more showy true flowers in small heads of white or yellow.

This booklet contains just a small selection of the plants we grow, and throughout this guided walk, you may well notice more Cornus species, hybrids and cultivars.

Copies of the Cornus trail booklet have been put together by the gardening team and are available in the Entrance Pavilion.

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