Kousa Dogwood - 'Cornus kousa'Kousa Dogwood is a flowering dogwood originally native to Japan, China, and Korea. First introduced to Europe and the United States in 1875, the Kousa dogwood is now widely planted because of its distinctive and decorative creamy-white bracts (sometimes tinged with pink) that appear after native Dogwoods. A wonderful addition for any home landscape, it has no serious disease or insect problems in the United States and its blooms attract bees and butterflies. The Kousa Dogwood also has fruit that attracts birds and squirrels. Believe it or not, the fruit is edible to people. The bark of this beautiful tree is rich brown-red and flakes to reveal fresh cream or fawn bark beneath, adding to its beauty. It is mildly sun tolerant and offers beautiful red and purple fall colors.
||Kousa Dogwood, Japanese Strawberry Tree|
||Big Apple, var. chinensis, Dwarf Pink, Elizabeth Lustgarten, Fanfare, Gay Head, Gold Star, Lustgarten Weeping, Madame Butterfly, Milky Way, Moonbeam, National, Nell Monk, Prolific, Rochester, Roasabella, Silverstar, Snowboy, Speciosa, Square Damnce, Summer Stars, Triple Crown, Twinkle, Variegata, Weaver's Weeping, Wilton, Xanthocarpa|
||Deciduous Ornamental Tree|
||Leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic-ovate, 2 to 4 inches long, 3/4 to 2 inches wide, acuminate, cuneate, and dark green in the summer. Leaves turn reddish purple or scarlet in fall, persisting for 3 to 5 weeks, significant variation in intensity of fall color.|
||About 20 to 30 feet in height with an equal spread; can be smaller or larger depending on the area of the country.|
||Zone 5 to 8. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||In youth, vase-shaped in habit, with age, forming a rounded appearance with distinct stratified branching pattern; very strong horizontal lines are evident in old age.|
||Slow, pssibly medium in early stages of growth.|
||The true flowers are small and inconspicuous and are produced in a 5/8 inch diameter rounded umbel on the upright 2 inch long peduncle that originates from short lateral spurs at the end of a small 2 to 4-leaved twig; the creamy white bracts are the showy part of the inflorescence and are borne in June, approximately 2 to 3 weeks after those of Cornus florida; the 4 bracts are taper-pointed, 1 to 2 inches long, 1/4 to 3/4 inches wide; the flowers, being stalked, are raised above the foliage creating a milky way effect along the horizontal branches; the bracts persist for up to 6 weeks and longer; in the aging process they often become pinkish. Tremendous interest in a pure pink or rose bracted form but most start white and age to pink.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||None serious, some borer damage reported.|
||Handsome small specimen tree or shrub, excellent near large buildings or blank wall, tends to break up harshness with horizontal structure, works well in shrub border or in a foundation planting at the corner of the house; the horizontal lines break up the vertical lines and make the home appear larger; difficult to overuse this plant; the flowers appear in May to June when there is often a paucity of color; perhaps the finest specimens in the United States are located at Longwood Gardens.|
||Transplant balled and burlapped as young specimen, considered more difficult to grow than Cornus florida, but this is doubtful. Enjoys acidic, well-drained soil and seems to perform best in sandy soil with good organic matter content.|
||Water regularly after initial planting and prune in winter or early spring as necessary to maintain form and desired shape.|
||Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.