Friday, June 3, 2016
The Kousa Dogwood-Cornus kousa
The Kousa Dogwood-Cornus kousa, is a small tree that ranges in height from 20 to 30 feet tall when mature. It grows in an erect form with a single short trunk and low hanging branches that often reach to the ground, the crown is round and broad, usually as wide as it is tall. The Kousa Dogwood was originally introduced from Asia but is now widely cultivated in the Eastern portions of the United States as far West as Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas. It is most easily recognized by the combination of opposite leaves, flower clusters that are long, rounded, pointed near the tips, and creamy white in color.
Image Citation (Photo 1 & 2): Richard Webb, Bugwood.org
The bark of the Kousa Dogwood is smooth and a uniform gray when young, as they mature the bark begins to exfoliate and become mottled with shades of gray, copper and olive green. The leaves are opposite, simple, ovate or elliptic with a long tapered tip. The upper surface of the leaves is dark green and lustrous while the lower surface is a paler green. In the fall the leaves turn a bright red, orange or purple color. The flowers are green-yellow borne in compact clusters that are surrounded by 4 large, long pointed, white bracts that can be as long as 5cm. Blooms appear in late May-June annually. The fruit is a cluster of small drupes that are fused into a knobby raspberry like form that is usually abut 2.5 cm in diameter, they are red to red-orange in color and mature in late Summer to early Fall annually.
Image Citation (Photo 3-Fall Foliage): T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Kousa Dogwood's can be found at most local nurseries and make a lovely addition to any commercial or residential landscape. They are recommended for hardiness zones 5-8. They prefer average moisture levels but are also somewhat drought resistant. They perform best in full sun to partial shade and can tolerate acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained and clay soils.