Cornus kousa. A large shrub or small tree from Japan and Korea, grown principally for the late spring flowers which have four showy white bracts, often thought to be petals. The actual flowers are small, insignificant and borne in clusters. Like most cornus it also has excellent autumn colour, the foliage remaining red for some weeks. Howick, Northumberland, UK.

The best foliage forms of C. kousa, with larger leaves of a better colour originate in China and are designated as var. chinensis. This fine form is grown at Wisley and is known as Wisley Queen, but is not particular distinct within the variety.

Like many deciduous dogwoods, Cornus kousa is also attractive when it begins to colour. Bodnant, Wales.

Like the smaller-leaved Cornus capitata the fruits of C. kousa resemble a strawberry, and like that fruit they are synangia, in which berries have fused into multiple fruits. However, unlike the strawberry in which small single-seeded fruits fuse, in these cornus single-seeded fruits from different flowers fuse.

I make no excuse for adding yet another photo of Cornus kousa as it is one of the finest small trees for autumn foliage. This is a good light red selection with large leaves planted at Bodnant, Wales.

Corylopsis is a small genus related to the witch hazels, Hamamelis, and like them all the species colour well in autumn, an additional reason for finding space for these well-behaved and tidy shrubs if you have an acidic soil. The catkins in March can be a spectacular sight. This is Corylopsis pauciflora, perhaps the best for a limited space, originating from Japan. Authors garden, UK.

Corylopsis spicata from Japan is a popular garden subject with attractive catkins in spring. Author's garden, Hexham.

Corylopsis spicata. Autumn foliage, close. Author's garden.

Away from the acers, Cotinus coggygria is perhaps the single best large shrub for autumn foliage. A member of the sumach family, Anacardiaceae, it is native to limestone around the European Mediterranean and so is not hardy everywhere in the UK, needing a sheltered south site in cold districts. It is exceptionally variable, not least in autumn colour as is exemplified by this photo of a wild population in late October near Achlydokambos, southern Greece. There are only two shrubs in this photo; the green ones are Arbutus andrachne and the reddish ones Cotinus.

Cotinus coggygria. A fairly standard form. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks. The summer leaves of these variants are green.

Many forms of Cotinus coggygria have purple leaves in summer and in these the leaves are often quite large. They are known collectively as C. coggygria 'Atropurpureus'. Some authors put all varieties which colour in summer together as 'foliis purpureis'. This is not to be confused with C. coggygria f. purpureus which has green leaves and purple inflorescences ('Smoke Tree'). Wallington, Northumberland, UK.

Forms of Cotinus coggygria which blush pink during the summer and turn a light red in autumn are known as C. coggygria 'Rubrifolius'. These are often included within ' foliis purpureus' but seem distinct. Knightshayes, Devon.

Cotinus 'Flame' is a very large-leaved variety with dull purple leaves which colour a brilliant red. It is a quite superb garden plant. It is probably a hybrid between C. coggygria and C. obovatus. Most plants of this hybrid origin are known as Dummer hybrids, of which the best known is 'Velvet Cloak'. Plas Newydd, Anglesey, Wales.

Cotinus obovatus (Chittamwood) is native to the SE USA and is not hardy in most parts of the UK. However it grows magnificently at Kew, London, where these photos were taken. It forms quite a large tree and has superb autumn colour.

Cotinus obovatus, Kew.

Cotinus obovatus. Colouring foliage, close. Kew, UK.

Cotoneaster is a large Eurasian genus of shrubs and small trees in the Rosaceae. Few species have good autumn foliage, but nearly all produce attractive berries, usually red, which are popular with birds. Some species can be almost too easy to grow and can become invasive, particularly on cliffs. This is C. bullatus, one of many species from western China which has attractive bullate foliage, but often self-sown with abandon. Author's garden, UK.

Often considered to be a variety of Cotoneaster franchetii, C. sternianus is another Chinese species, named for the well-known Sussex gardener Sir Frederick Stern. It is partially deciduous and produces abundant rather large berries. Bodnant, Wales.

Despite its invasiveness, and our overfamiliarity with it, Cotoneaster horizontalis is in fact an excellent garden plant, its ground-hugging habit, regular abundant fruiting, and deciduous habit so that it glows red from both leaves and fruits in autumn all combine to make a brave show. Do not grow close to choice plants and keep the secateurs handy! Hexham, UK.

Cotoneaster hualiensis is a rarity in cultivation, the prtesent plant having been introduced from China by Lord Howick and grown in his garden, Howick Hall, Northumberland, UK. It seems a promising introduction with good red autumn foliage, unusual in the genus.

Cotoneaster serotinus is one of a number of large, tree-like cotoneasters from China and the Himalaya, the best-known of which is perhaps C. frigidus. In C. serotinus, the somewhat bullate evergreen leaves are woolly beneath. Authors garden, UK.

Crataegus douglasii is one of many north American hawthorns which are not often grown in the UK. In common with several others, the shiny leaves turn red in autumn and combine with the haws to make a considerable spectacle. In this species, the fruits are blackish when ripe. Howick, Northumberland.

Crataegus pinnatifida is a Chinese thorn with large lobed leaves which often turn red in autumn, but here at Kew, UK, they remained a lovely yellow.

Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans'. Very few conifers are deciduous, but some of these which drop their leaves in autumn are amongst the best of all autumn foliage plants. Cryptomeria, from China and Japan where it is an important forest plant, is evergreen, but some varieties colour attractive shades on the onset of cool weather. This purplish hue is typical of the variety 'Elegans'. Holker Hall, Cumbria.

Davidia involucrata, the Handkerchief or Dove tree is a rare native of west Sichun, China and is well known on the Emei Shan. Prinipally grown for the large white bracts in spring, it turns a glorious reddish gold in autumn. Authors garden, UK.

Davidia involucrata. Foliage close-up. Authors garden.

Disanthus cercidifolius is a relative of Hamamelis, the witch hazels and it native to Janan and SE China. It is principally grown for its glorious autumn colour and eventually grows to 2.5 m in height. Like its relatives it appreciates shelter and an acidic soil. Holker Hall, Cumbria.

This is the end of the present page. On page 6 we will progress to the letter E!