Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) in the Dogwoods Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Kousa Dogwood
Give a thumbs up Japanese Dogwood
Give a thumbs up Dogwood
Give a thumbs up Kosa

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 15 to 25 feet
Plant Spread: 15 to 25 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: 3"-4"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Inflorescence Height: N/A
Foliage Mound Height: N/A
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects


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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 9, 2018 2:25 PM

What is good about the Kousa Dogwood tree that is native to China, Japan, and Korea is that it has pretty, mottled, smooth bark; good red fall color; and pretty, white flowers with sharp-pointed petals that appear with the leaves in late May and June. What is bad about this species is that it bears lots of the large, soft, red, multiple-drupe fruits that make quite a mess on lawn or especially on paved surfaces. The only animal that I've seen feeding on the fruits, as they are rotting, are Yellowjackets. One woman told me she thought her squirrels ate some. The stiff branching habit of this bushy small tree is not nearly as nice as the sort of roller coaster branching of the American flowering Dogwood. This is commonly planted in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US. I've seen only a few specimens in the Chicago, IL area. There are several cultivars commonly available also.

A new canker-leaf blight disease (Discula destructiva) was discovered in 1987 in the South that at first devastated many American Flowering Dogwoods in the 1990's and into the next century a little in the East US. It did not really affect the Kousa species; which probably means the disease came from East Asia. Everyone panicked and replaced many Flowering dogwoods with the Asian species. However, I am happy to say that there are still a large number of the American Flowering Dogwoods in southeast Pennsylvania in yards and some in the woods. I prefer the native species as it does provide beneficial insects and birds with food, the little red berries are fantastic for birds, and it looks better to me.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Newly planted dogwood shape by sascarola May 10, 2020 2:39 PM 9
Peeling bark on my dogwood by Bdepaolo Aug 23, 2019 4:30 PM 5
Flower that made my eyes swell up. Need an id. by ExtremeAllergies Jun 8, 2019 1:33 PM 3
Luther Burbank's thornless Opuntia by NickyNick Oct 7, 2019 11:10 PM 66
What is this called? by jd349583 May 26, 2019 6:49 PM 2
What is name of this flowering tree by idreos May 7, 2019 9:39 AM 3
Wanted - Black Currant - Ribes nigrum by Xeramtheum Feb 3, 2019 7:31 AM 4
Plant identification help needed. by EnglishViking Jan 28, 2019 1:20 PM 7
Kousa Dogwood by LCL Dec 27, 2018 7:39 AM 2
Please help me identify what type of Dogwood these are; thank you in advance! by CindyRR Oct 31, 2018 11:17 PM 7

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