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Kousa Dogwood

Cornus kousa

Kousa Dogwood

Flowers of a kousa dogwood

Kousa dogwood
Courtesy G. Lumis

Flowers of a Kousa dogwood
Courtesy G. Lumis

Summary
Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf
Height: 20 to 30 feet 
Spread: 20 to 30 feet 
Shape: Bushy 

Dark green foliage turns red in the fall. Showy white flowers bloom in spring. Fruit appears in late summer before foliage turns.

Plant Needs
Zone: 5 to 8
Light: Partial shade to full sun 
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry 
Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay 
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5 

Functions
Suggested uses for this plant include border, massing, and specimen plant. 

Planting Notes
Select small plants with balled and burlapped roots.
Plant in acid soil that is well-drained. 
Tolerant of full sun and dry, compacted soil.

Care
Considered to be a low maintenance plant because of its slow to medium growth rate, nice natural form, and resistance to insect pests. 

Problems
No serious insects or diseases. 

Alternatives
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of CORNUS KOUSA
`Summer Stars' has flower bracts that remain on tree for up to 6 weeks. 
`Lustgarten Weeping' has weeping branches.

Related species
CORNUS CHINENSIS (Chinese Dogwood) has larger flowers than the Kousa Dogwood.
CORNUS CHINENSIS `Milky Way' produces more flowers.

Comments
Beautiful flowers, fruit, fall color, and nice winter silhouette provide year-round interest.
Kousa is a good substitute for the native dogwood in many urban landscape situations. 
The showy, globular fruits are edible and will attract birds. 

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.