Botanical Name: Cornus kousa
Common Name: Kousa Dogwood
Location: CNE, CSW, KS
Notable Feature: The Kousa is often used to extend the sense of spring, as it blooms late (a month or so after Cornus florida) and over a long period.
Habit: When this deciduous tree is young, its branches grow upright but form horizontal layers as it matures. When mature, at about 20 feet high, the crown is dense, round, and wider than the tree’s height. The bark is initially smooth and light brown, later exfoliating into small patches forming a tan and brown camouflage pattern.
Flower: Flowers are perfect (bisexual). Surrounding the small, greenish yellow, true flowers are showy, pointed, white bracts, 2 to 3” across, remaining attractive for at least a month.
Fruit: Very unusual, raspberry-like, edible drupe. Light red to pink in color, round, 1 to 1 ½” across, yellowish orange inside with stony pits, and borne on a 1 ½ to 2-inch stalk. Ripens in late summer to early fall.
Foliage: Opposite, 2 to 4” long, ovate leaves turn from a shiny dark green in summer to purple and red in fall.
Interesting Fact: The Kousa Dogwood can be distinguished from its closely related Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) by its more upright habit, flowering about a month later, its pointed rather than rounded flower bracts, and its raspberry-like fruit.