The Glorious Kousa Dogwood

Jun 9, 2017 | Love This!

Name: Cornus kousa aka the kousa dogwood

Type of Plant:   A small tree that’s native to Asia but grows so well in Zones 5 to 8. There are a few named cultivars that have larger flowers, slightly later blooming or pink flowers.

Why I love this: Yesterday I had the pleasure of being in three locations where the kousa dogwoods were in full glory: The Arnold Arboretum, The Wakefield Trust and the Bradley Estate. All are within an easy drive of one another south/west of Boston. All contain many treasures but right now the Cornus kousa are especially heavenly.

Kousa dogwoods have interesting, peeling bark and pretty fruit. You can find them in single-trunk forms or multi-stems…both are beautiful. They are remarkably pest-free and fit well into small landscapes.

A Word to the Wise: Don’t let these trees dry out in hot summers. A deep soaking once a week will help prevent leaf scorch. What we call flowers on this tree are really the bracts, but that doesn’t make any difference to our enjoyment of this tree. Note that these trees can vary in their production of flowers and bracts…one year your tree is glorious, and another year more sparsely covered with blooms and bracts

The two kousa dogwoods in bloom at the stunning new Proven Winners garden behind the Bradley Estate framed the end of that walled garden. I look forward to going back to this garden in August once these plants have filled out! 

Some kousas have very large bracts.

Looking up into a Cornus kousa that is in flower is a cooling study in green and white.

This Cornus kousa at the Bradley Estate had smaller flowers with a slight greenish tinge. Also lovely!

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