Woody of the Week - Kousa Dogwood

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The kousa dogwood (Cornus florida) is an eye catcher. This 15 - 30 foot tall tree flowers a little later in the season compared to the native flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The flowers, including the bracts which some people call erroneously call petals, appear above the tree's foliage. I have observed the bracts holding on for weeks. The fruit will develop as the season progresses and I have observed the squirrels having a feast as they ripen. 


The photos taken for this alert are of the cultivar 'Milky Way.' In addition to the tree form and the prolific blooms, another characteristic worth mentioning is the interesting bark that is almost camouflage-like.  


Kousa Dogwood in Bloom
Photo Credit: Amy Stone, OSU Extension, Lucas County


The tree prefers a well drained site, slightly acidic and extra care should be given during the establishment period if there are times of dryness or drought. 


Kousa Dogwood in the Landscape
Photo Credit: Amy Stone, OSU Extension, Lucas County


The kousa dogwood in this photo stands out among a colorful annual display at Toledo Botanical Garden in the Artist Village. 


This alert was co-authored by Amy Stone and Master Gardener Volunteer Sandy Shutt from Lucas County.