Cornus Species, Chinese Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood, Kousa Dogwood

Cornus kousa

Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus (KOR-nus) (Info)
Species: kousa (KOO-sa) (Info)
Synonym:Benthamia kousa
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

By grafting

By budding

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Dothan, Alabama

Blytheville, Arkansas

San Leandro, California

Fort Collins, Colorado

Winterville, Georgia

Nilwood, Illinois

Carmel, Indiana

Muncie, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Bardstown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Coushatta, Louisiana

Valley Lee, Maryland

Mansfield, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Medford, Massachusetts

North Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Reading, Massachusetts

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Natchez, Mississippi

Lincoln, Nebraska(2 reports)

Piscataway, New Jersey

Raritan, New Jersey

Croton On Hudson, New York

Fairport, New York

Poughkeepsie, New York

Highlands, North Carolina

Hudson, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Dundee, Ohio

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Mercer, Pennsylvania

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Collierville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Gordonsville, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Palmyra, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Pullman, Washington

Cambridge, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 20, 2021, Beetreeguy from Gordonsville, VA wrote:

This graceful small tree is a common sight in the old downtowns of the Virginia Piedmont (zone 7a). They put on a spectacular display for several weeks when they bloom in May/June (later than native dogwood) and, as an added bonus, bear edible fruit in the fall. The flavor is mild and reminiscent of candy, but I'll admit the gritty texture is unpleasant enough to put them in the "famine food" category. I bought two trees (required for fruit) from Edible Landscaping. They managed to survive being planted in a fairly shady spot in unamended clay soil. Years of neglect followed, and I regret to say I shredded one of them with a 'bush hog' mower when clearing the new growth around them. The other is healthy and growing slowly. A little patience might be required with this one. Or maybe better ... read more


On Sep 4, 2020, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

My tree is now loaded with fruits. They taste like persimmons. Yum!


On Jan 20, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is a pretty plant with bark prettier than the American Flowering Dogwood. However, it produces lots of large, soft, aggregate, round, red fruit that fall all over and make the surrounding area messy in fall. There are no Asian monkeys to eat the fruit. The only thing I have seen eat the rotting fruit is Yellowjackets in the US. Don't plant this near paved surfaces. The branching pattern is very stiff and not as nice as the American's curving twigs. The American Flowering Dogwood is not being all killed off by Discula canker disease, so this Asian species does not have to replace it.


On Apr 19, 2012, Raci570 from Hudson, NC wrote:

I have a kousa dogwood that has been blooming beautifully for 12 or 13 years now. My wife and I love it. Recently we noticed what we assumed are seeds underneath the tree (and seedlings growing up underneath it) but we're not sure whether the seedlings are from the kousa dogwood or they just blew in from somewhere else. The seeds that dropped look like blackberries (about the same size -- round with a lot of little globular things that make up the "berry" or seed. How can I plant them to create more trees -- or is nature doing it for me under the tree already? If I wanted to plant some in some potting soil would I do it now, or wait til it turns cold? Would I keep the pots inside or outside, and how deep in the pots would I plant them? Thanks everyone. By the way, I live in zone 7.


On Sep 24, 2011, 1grassman from Manning, SC wrote:

I have a Cornus kousa, var. angustata that blooms in June and is reliably evergreen in SC. It is planted under mature hardwoods and its lime green leaves are a striking contrast to the dark hardwoods forest in winter. The tree is probably 15-18' and produces edible fruit and lots of seed. I planted some last fall that are from 6 - 12" now. I'm harvesting seed now to plant in pots in the yard this fall.


On Jun 16, 2010, quiltjean from North Chelmsford, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I raised my Kousa dogwood from a 15-inch baby to its present 12-15 feet. It has flowered for two years, and the bracts last and last. However, this year it did not flower. I'm at a loss and would appreciate some feedback. On the whole I gave it a positive rating because those two years were worth all the trouble--but I want MORE!


On Apr 26, 2010, lmg1956 from Weymouth, MA wrote:

Help is what I'm actually looking for. I bought my cornus kousa this past Oct./Nov.(02189-zone 6) and put in ground within a week or two because of much rain at the time. Bought in I think in 3-4 gal. container. A small speciment but it was the tree that I wanted so bad, having seen them in wonderful park designs; and the tree was in very good condition. I Know that we had a relatively late frost and I watered,fertilized, & applied bonemeal. All aseemed well and tree looks healthy, but I'm astill waiting for the buds 'n leaves. What am I doing wrong or not doing? Am I overwatering maybe (once a day)?HELP!!??!! Can anyone help me or is my cornus kousa a goner?


On Jun 10, 2009, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

In Petersburg, Southern Virginia, Zone 7A, we planted a Kousa Dogwood twelve years ago. My husband has expressed disappointment that it does not have the more graceful and fanciful shape of the native dogwoods. Unfortunately, the Cornus florida have been afflicted by anthracnose, and most seem to succumb upon reaching maturity. I pruned our dogwood by limbing it up and that did reduce the stockiness of its appearance. It is very pretty and healthy. I'm hoping it will crossbreed with the native dogwoods in the neighborhood, as the hybrids are supposed to be able to resist the anthracnose.


On Jun 1, 2008, nancyraab from Raritan, NJ wrote:

My daughter bought me this plant 5 years ago and we planted it in the front of my house. I love the flowers on this plant but I also had some trouble last year. I thought it was dying because it only had 2 flowers on it and hasn't really grown very much in the last 5 years. However this year it looks great and full of flowers, beautiful!!! It still has a long way to grow but I am glad it is doing better this year. I first saw 2 of these trees in Princeton, NJ, on 206 near a strip mall. That's when I fell in love.....They are both tall and have big beautiful blooms each year. If you're in the neighborhood, check them out....


On Nov 14, 2006, EuellR from Williamsburg, MI wrote:

Regarding the beautiful photo of the Cornus kousa bark from Mongomery County, PA: What is the age of the tree and what are its height/width dimensions?

Jim Robberts
Traverse City, MI


On Sep 8, 2005, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

I can't find enough praise for this plant, even if it is an exotic here. I have two plants that are nearly 25 years old. One was trained into a single stem tree and the other was allowed to become a five-trunk shrub. Both plants are now old enough to begin to show their natural bark exfoliation that results in a very pleasant patchwork of putty and green earth tones. Their foliage, flowers bracts, and fruit often show simultaneously (see my image) and give a pleasant 'crazy quilt' appearance. In the fall its foliage will assume a bronze color before it drops. Quite a color spectacle for one plant! Usually our squirrels harvest the ripe fruit before we get a chance. During this year's drought the trees that were deep watered showed less stress than those that received less supplemental wate... read more


On May 9, 2005, gretchensgarden from Traverse City, MI wrote:

I have had 3 of these trees since 2001 and when they bloom they are lovely and long lasting with the flower starting out green, brightening to a creamy white and then fading to pink. However, flowering seems finicky and I have not figured out why it does/does not bloom.


On May 4, 2005, misskaffee from BeachTown, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I planted two of these trees in my yard early this spring. They are in an area with light shade part of the day, and I was careful to plant them with good soil, etc. But only one is showing signs of life! One has beautiful baby leaves budding all over. The other has crispy brown stubs that look like they started to come out, then died when they saw daylight.

I am not sure if the sad one is totally dead, or if I just need to be patient another month. I'll upload some pics to illustrate.


On Jan 29, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

For gardeners living in coastal zone 5, this plant will perform far better than Cornus florida. It grows quite well in southern Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.


On Nov 30, 2004, designart from Schwenksville, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Good small tree for flowers, fruit and winter interest. The bark on mature specimens is beautiful and adds much interest to the winter landscape. The flowers bloom later when many people are outdoors to enjoy the display.


On Apr 15, 2004, treegirl wrote:

I have a Kousa that was planted for me four years ago. Last year it was covered with blooms; however this year, there is not a single bloom on it...has anyone else had such an experience? So far I love the tree, but am perplexed by the sudden lack of blooms!


On Jan 4, 2003, blush from fonthill, ON (Zone 6b) wrote:

I prefer the Kousa to my native Cornus Florida. The flowers are longer lasting and appear after the spring rush. Mine are sensitive to drought but well worth the watering here in S.Ontario. Easily obtained here.


On Jan 3, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The true flowers of this species are small; the bracts surrounding the flowers remain for many weeks, gradually changing color from white to pink. Highly garden-worthy replacement for those unable to grow Cornus florida. Many cultivars available; new ones are introduced every year.


On Sep 15, 2002, rshansby wrote:

THE TREE--A smallish tree, growing best in part sun. Most of the variety I have seen are no more thant 15 - 20 feet in height. However, I have seen a large old specimen in Pennsylvania that was probably 40 or 50 feet tall. Unlike the Cornus Florida, its flowers come out after the tree has begun to leaf out.

DISEASE RESISTANCE--Apparently resistant to the anthracnose that has begun to devastate the Cornus Florida. The Cornus Kousa is a wonderful tree to replace the Cornus Florida. One might plant one very nearby a diseased Cornus Florida and then remove the latter when it dwindles to the point of becoming an eyesore.

FRUIT--The fruit is of the size and color of a red raspberry, and is in color in August and September in the Washington, DC, area. I have a... read more