I Love Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’

Apr 8, 2016 | Love This!

Name:  Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’ aka the pink kousa dogwood.

Type of Plant:  Kousa dogwoods are lovely small trees that are hardy in Zones 5-8. Most have ivory flowers, and are attractive trees, but ‘Satomi’ has pink flowers that have darker edges and lighter centers.

Why I love this: These trees are moderate growers, commonly reaching 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. So they are well-sized for the average landscape. They have attractive fruit later in the summer and early fall as well. I also love the fact that these trees don’t bloom in the early spring, but in the early summer.

A Word to the Wise:  Cornus kousa likes a consistently moist soil…not soggy wet, but this isn’t the tree to plant in a landscape that never gets watered either. They grow best in full sun.

These dogwoods aren't especially fast growing - perfect for the smaller yard and garden.

These dogwoods aren’t especially fast growing – perfect for the smaller yard and garden.


Cornus kousa is a pretty problem-free tree in most places. I love the two-tone aspect that the 'Satomi' flowers have.

Cornus kousa is a pretty problem-free tree in most places. I love the two-tone aspect that the ‘Satomi’ flowers have.


  1. Nancy Leland

    Does anyone know why the Satomi dogwood doesn’t seem to be available in nurseries? Most of the nurseries around me in Portland Maine carry them every year but this year no one has them and they don’t seem to know why

    • CL Fornari

      Plant availability in nurseries depends on what the growers are growing and many factors go into what they raise and why. Sometimes the source of cuttings or stater plants for a particular variety is all coming from one place and if that source closes down, is closed due to weather, has a fire or some other situation then that variety might drop from the market for a few years. Sometimes it’s a matter of consumer demand…and if not many people know that a particular plant exists they can’t ask for it. Since a grower might have to tend plants for several years before selling them, they pay great attention to what is likely to sell, since they don’t want to end up with a field full of unpopular trees and shrubs the garden centers don’t want. So you can see it’s pretty complex and sometimes some very good plants get lost in the shuffle.

      That said, I bought my Satomi three years ago from Hyannis Country Garden on Cape Cod. You might call other large nurseries in MA to see who carries them, and make a trip down when you find one. I’d suggest calling Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Mahoney’s in Winchester, MA, Corliss Brothers in Ipswich, or Katsura Gardens in Plymouth.

  2. Nancy Grogan

    Do hungry deer like to eat kousa dogwood trees leaves/branches? I live in Marion MA and the deer down here are ravenous!

    • CL Fornari

      Deer seldom damage Kousa dogwoods, but that doesn’t mean that you might have one that develops a taste for it. If you live in deer country, as I do, you should spray any newly planted plant with deer repellant immediately to tell Bambi that it’s not on his menu.

      • Annegret Morf

        Hello, my Kousa Satomi is developing flowers for the first time. At this point the flowers are green. Do they start out green and then turn pink? Or could it be too shady for it to bloom properly? Thanks

        • CL Fornari

          Not to worry, Annegret – they start out green and then change to their final color as the flowers mature. If your plant is in deep shade it’s likely to mean a paler pink color, and fewer flowers, however. But wait and see what happens because the color does change.

  3. Martha Reed

    I have several of these trees and love them. I assume they are hybrids and any seedlings they throw will not be pink?

    • CL Fornari

      Yes, Martha – their offspring will most likely be one of the parent plants and not pink.


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