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Cornus Golden Shadows® - Pagoda Dogwood

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Plant Size Info

Golden Shadows pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is the perfect small tree to accentuate your landscape or garden. Called "pagoda dogwood" because of its elegant, strongly horizontal branching, it offers not only a striking shape but also striking color. Each variegated leaf is a blend of greens and yellows that give it a glowing, illuminated look. In spring, lacy clusters of white flowers celebrate the season. 

Golden Shadows dogwood does best in light shade, particularly in warmer climates. We offer this variety because there are few prettier small trees, and because the foliage of this native plant hosts the larvae of the spring and summer azure butterflies; flowers also welcome the American snout butterfly. What a great plant!

Vital details:

Plant size: 10-12' tall and wide

Light: part sun (4-6 hrs/day) is best

Water: Moist, well drained

Hardiness: USDA zone 3-8 (Find your hardiness zone)

Pollinator value: Proven Winners, flowers attract American snout butterflies; foliage hosts spring and summer azure larvae.

Notable features: small tree, native, variegated.

Pot size: one quart

Plant name: Cornus alternifolia 'Wstackman' pp#11,287

A young specimen of variegated Golden Shadows dogwood tree in a landscape
A single Golden Shadows pagoda dogwood tree planted near a house with a blooming wisteria in the background
Cornus Golden Shadows has variegated leaves with a blend of greens and yellows
Golden Shadows Pagoda Dogwood has lacy clusters of white flowers in the spring


Care & Planting Guide

After your plants have arrived:

The plants in this box have just spent a lot of time being jostled around in the dark and must be unboxed right away. Unpack the entire box, removing packaging material and plants. Remove any plastic covering the pot and/or soil surface and check if the soil is dry. Water anything that is dry or looks wilted. Any plants that have come unpotted during shipping can be replaced in their pots and their roots covered with soil.

Place plants in a cool, shaded spot out of direct sunlight for 24- 48 hours after unpacking them. This allows them a recovery and acclimation period before planting. If you must hold them longer, place them out of direct sunlight, wind, heat, and cold. Check daily for watering.

Our Guarantee

Our Guarantee

No Risk 60 Day Guarantee

We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your purchase and that your plants will arrive healthy, free of pests and diseases, and true to name.  If for any reason you are dissatisfied, notify us within 60 days of receipt of your order and we will refund you.

Fall Guarantee

Notify us within 7 days if you have a concern about orders shipped in autumn so we can make a note of it.  Warranty on such plants is extended to May 31 of the following year.  Our fall guarantee does not cover plants that are not hardy (i.e., able to survive winter) in your area, so please verify your USDA hardiness zone before purchasing. If you have questions about whether a plant can survive winter in your area, please call us before purchasing.

Our Larger Root Systems

We ship jumbo size plants with hefty root systems that outperform smaller plants obtained from other mail order nurseries.


We take great pride in our packaging.  Please contact us immediately if any of your boxes arrive damaged, or if you find any shortages or inconsistencies in the order. Please note: multiple boxes shipped by Fed Ex might not always arrive the same day. For more information, please see our shipping page.

Dormant Plants

Any plant shipped dormant in the spring is guaranteed to break dormancy even if it takes more than one month.  Call us directly if you have any concerns.


Photos of the plant(s) will be required so that we may provide the best assistance possible.


A plant refund is based on the plant cost less discounts and shipping charges.  Allow up to 2 weeks for processing.  We reserve the right to request a return of an item. Click here to request a refund.

Product Care

After 60 days, we cannot be responsible for product that is in your care.  This includes overwintering, animals, insects, diseases, poor planting, plants beyond their hardiness zone, drought, flooding, etc.  Our expert staff is here to assist you with any problem you may be experiencing.  Our goal is that you are successful with our product.

Our Record

Our parent company,, has successfully shipped high quality plants for more than ten years.  We take the same pride in the quality of plants sold here at

USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones Map


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has devised a system to provide gardeners with a basic guide to plant hardiness – how much winter cold a plant can withstand. The Hardiness Zone Map system divides the United States and Canada into numbered zones based on lowest average winter temperature. Even within a zone, different micro-climates exist, such as large urban areas which may be warmer or land situated at different elevations.


The Hardiness Zone Map is a valuable tool but it is not foolproof. There are a variety of factors that can influence the hardiness of a given plant in a garden. These factors include: soil type, drainage, snow cover, exposure to wind, winter, rainfall (or lack of), as well as fluctuations in temperature.


When you are on a plant page, scroll down until you see the bold "Hardiness" text.

Shipping Policy

Use collapsible tabs for more detailed information that will help customers make a purchasing decision.

Ex: Shipping and return policies, size guides, and other common questions.

Shipping Policy

How to Contact Us: 
General Customer Service & Phone Orders:
Phone: 1-877-447-4769 (Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST).
Mail:, 12601 120th Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Shipping costs

We try to keep shipping rates as low as possible to offer you the best value. Unlike other companies, with us, when you buy more, you save more on shipping! Our standard rates are:

 Order Value:

Shipping Cost:

$0.01 – $39.99


$40.00 – $59.99 


$60.00 – $99.99


$100.00+ FREE


Don't worry: our discount rates don't mean we cut corners on shipping. Our professional shipping staff packs each order - each plant! - with the care they'd take in their own gardens. Your plants will arrive in good, healthy condition, ready for you and your visiting pollinators to enjoy. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Steve J.
Golden Shadows Dogwood

I just planted two, but I'm optimistic that they'll flourish. I have multiple Pagoda Dogwoods around. The birds love the seeds and nearly always beat me to collecting for planting.

ileen D.
beautiful plant

beautiful leaves.

Mo K.
Arrived as a stubby twig which died

I have ordered several plants online and this was by far, the worst. It came with no leaves and just a 4” tall stem.

Lisa L.
It died within days

Plant died within days, and I'm a pretty experienced gardener.

Hello Lisa! I'm sorry to hear your new plant didn't survive. We offer a 30 day guarantee and are happy to replace or refund all plants that don't survive their first 30 days in your garden. You can start a claim by contacting us at

Donna M.
Not sure what to think

The folks at Great Garden Plants get points for being very cooperative and helpful, as this dogwood ended up being backordered -- so they sent the rest of the order and did not charge separate shipping when the dogwood was ready to ship. It arrived in apparently good condition -- but very small; just two or three inches tall with a few leaves. It seemed fine at first, but has now dropped its leaves. Not sure what happened. I have it in netting to protect it from cicadas and deer. Continuing to care for it in hopes it will come back. (The rest of the order turned out better, though. So maybe this one is just bad luck.)