WSU Clark County Extension

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Kousa Dogwood

Scientific name: Cornus kousa

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:25 ft
Width:20 ft
Bloom:Showy flowers
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Kousa Dogwood is widely sold in the nursery trade and is best known for its 3”-5” wide white flower bracts (4 per flower) that surround a cluster of insignificant yellow-green true flowers.

This deciduous tree grows to 30’ in height and up to 20’ wide. Young trees are vase shaped when they are young, becoming rounded with horizontal branching as they age. Leaves are 2”-4” in length. During the summer the leaves are dark green while in the fall they morph to a reddish purple to scarlet fall color. The leaf shape is described as oval to ovate with an entire margin. On the stems the leaves are arranged in an opposite arrangement.
Bloom occurs in late May through mid June.

Flowers are white to near white in color. The flowers are monoecious in that they bear male and female parts. During full bloom the entire tree appears to be covered with the flowers.

Fruit are classified as edible drupes. They are borne on short stalks (2” in length). The fruit are light red to pink in color, round and 1”-1.5” across. When cut open one will find a yellowish orange inside with stony pits. The fruit ripen in the late fall and provide winter forage for local song birds.

The bark on Kousa Dogwood is interesting as well. Initially it is smooth and light brown, while older trees feature exfoliating bark that forms a tan and brown camouflage pattern.

This species can grow well in either full sun or partial shade and can grow on a wide array of soil types.

Resistant to the anthracnose that has begun to devastate Cornus florida.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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