Kousa dogwood is an excellent small specimen tree, especially when it is used as a foundation planting near the corner of a house to break up vertical lines. Two of this plant's outstanding characteristics are four-petaled, white flowers that appear above the foliage in June and reddish-purple fall color. This tree benefits from a layer of mulch to maintain a cool root environment.
- Deciduous (foliage falls off)
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
- Occasional drought
- Acid soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Mixed border
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
- Late spring
- Early summer
- Late summer
- Early fall
- Mid fall
Size and Form
20 to 30 feet high and wide; at maturity a rounded form with distinctly horizontal branches
Tree & Plant Care
A shallow-rooted tree that will benefit with a layer of mulch for a cool root environment.
Disease, pests and problems
This plant struggles in heavy clay soil.
Borers are a possible problem.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
More resistant to drought than flowering dogwood.
Resistant to the anthracnose (Discula) that is common on flowering dogwood.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Asia.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Serves as a larval host for the spring/summer azure butterfly and a nectar host for the snout butterfly.
Bark color and texture
Bark is gray-brown and slightly exfoliating.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite, 2 to 4 inch long with entire margins, elliptical shape; dark green leaves change to a burgundy-red in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
This tree blooms 2-3 weeks after native dogwoods.
True flowers are inconspicuous. 1 to 2 inch, white pointed bracts appear above the foliage and persist for several weeks.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Large, attractive, 1 inch, raspberry-like fruit (drupe) appear in August.