Kousa Dogwood Plant Information
Kousa Dogwood grows in the following 2 states:New Jersey, New York
Cornus kousa is a small deciduous tree 8-12m (26-39ft) tall, in the family Cornaceae. Common names include Japanese dogwood, kousa, and kousa dogwood. Synonyms are Benthamia kousa and Cynoxylon kousa. It is a native plant to East Asia including Korea, China and Japan. Widely cultivated as an ornamental, it is naturalized in New York State.
Like other Cornus, it has opposite, simple leaves, 4-10cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four, white petals are actually four spreading bracts below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out.
It can be distinguished from the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America by its more upright habit, flowering about a month later, and by the pointed rather than rounded flower bracts.
The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2-3cm in diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree exceed 4cm. It is edible, a sweet and delicious addition to the tree's ornamental value. The fruit is sometimes used for making wine.
It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, unlike C. florida, which is very susceptible and commonly killed by it; for this reason, C. kousa is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease.
Fall foliage is a showy red color.
A number of hybrids between C. kousa and C. florida have been selected for their disease resistance and good flower appearance. Varieties include:
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