Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
Category: Deciduous Trees
Kousa dogwood is a small deciduous which is also known as Chinese dogwood, Korean dogwood or Japanese dogwood. It is native to Korea, Japan, and Taiwan among others. This tree grown 8-12 m tall it is widely cultivated for ornamental purpose. This tree adds beauty to a garden all year round.
The tree requires full sun for proper development. The soils should be well drained, moist, fertile and not too heavy. It needs average water, but during dry spells irrigation is needed. It is not drought or heat tolerant so in cases where planted in urban areas, this tree can be stressed.
Kousa dogwood has opposite leaves which are around 4-10 cm long. The blossoms are seen late in the spring just a few weeks after the leaves have fallen. The tree is showy when in bloom and the four petals- like white flowers are bracts spread open, below the cluster of yellow-green flowers that are not conspicuous.
This tree is closely related to Cornus Florida though they have distinctive features. One of these features is that Kousa dogwood has more upright habit, has pointed rounded flower bracts and flowering occurs a month later.
The fruits are pink to red berries which grow up to 3 cm in diameter. But they tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and it is believed that the ones that don’t fall from the tree after maturity can grow up to 4cm. the fruits can be consumed by humans. They are sweet and delicious. In fact these berries are used to make wines.
Kousa is resistant to anthracnose disease which kills most dogwoods. In fact it is a preferred tree for most places that are affected by this disease. Anthracnose is a disease caused by a fungus known as discula destructiva. This disease dries up the tree and kills it completely.