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Cornus kousa

Common Name(s):
Kousa dogwood
'Milky Way', 'Milky Way Select', 'Gold Star', 'Wolf Eyes', 'Gold Cup', 'Summer Fun', 'Greensleeves', 'Satomi', 'Blue Shadow'

The Kousa dogwood is a handsome, small- to medium-sized tree reaching a mature height of 30 feet. Sometimes referred to as the Chinese dogwood, this Asian cousin to our native flowering dogwood can be used as a specimen plant or in shrub borders.

Depending on the age of the Kousa dogwood, the trees take on a different appearance. Young trees grow in an upright fashion and in somewhat of a conical shape. As a Kousa matures, it develops more horizontal branching and becomes more wide-spreading. Our native dogwoods bloom in April, while the Kousa dogwoods flower nearly a month later. A tree for all seasons, the Kousa dogwood has berries that resemble raspberry fruit in autumn, and the peeling bark on the mature tree trunks gives the bark an attractive mottled appearance.

A great addition to any Carolina landscape, grow in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be well-drained but moist. Resistant to anthracnose, this tree is also mildly resistant to damage by deer. Don’t let this opportunity to plant a real showstopper pass you by.

Wildlife Value:  Fruits and nesting sites attractive to songbirds.  Members of the genus Cornus support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Gonandrena) fragilisAndrena (Gonandrena) integraand Andrena (Gonandrena) platypariaThis tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer. 

Insects, Diseases and Other Problems: Resistant to anthracnose.

20-30 ft.
2-4 in. white or pink tapered bracts; flowers appear before leaves; blooms about 2-3 weeks after C. florida; pinkish-red to red fruit in late summer
Sun to partial shade; well-drained soil
Vase shape in youth; rounded with horizontal branching with age
15-20 ft.
Growth Rate:
2-4 in. opposite, simple, dark green leaf; reddish-purple to scarlet fall color
cover, cpp, small tree, pollinator, nesting, deciduous, showstopper, bees, fall color, birds, nectar, disease resistant, specialized bees, wildlife, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 1965

Cornus kousa Form
-Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cornus kousa Cornus kousa
Lucy Bradley, CC BY-NC-SA - 4.0
Cornus kousa Cornus kousa
GwendolynStansbury, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cornus kousa Cornus kousa
Wendy Cutler, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cornus kousa Fruits
Geneva Wirth, CC BY-NC-2.0
Cornus kousa Close up of fruit
dbarronoss, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cornus kousa Cornus kousa
Gail Langellotto, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cornus kousa 'Gold Cup' Cornus kousa 'Gold Cup'
Megan Hansen, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Cornus kousa 'Summer Fun' Cornus kousa 'Summer Fun'
Megan Hansen, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0