Kousa Dogwood, Chinese Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood 'Milky Way'

Cornus kousa

Family: Cornaceae
Genus: Cornus (KOR-nus) (Info)
Species: kousa (KOO-sa) (Info)
Cultivar: Milky Way
Synonym:Benthamia kousa



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


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

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:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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:

Santa Rosa, California

Fort Collins, Colorado

Savannah, Georgia

Coushatta, Louisiana

East Lansing, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Saint Louis, Missouri

Copake, New York

Sodus, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Arbovale, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

This is an improved cultivar of the standard Kousa dogwood, a graceful small tree that's 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 Kousas (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 lit... read more


On Sep 21, 2014, giegertree from Savannah, GA wrote:

In the Deep South, best to give this tree partial sun to partial shade -- definitely shade past 2 pm in the afternoon!

Too much watering or too little watering causes this tree's leaves (and also on the native flowering dogwood) to get brown tips and edges.


On Mar 24, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

There may not really be as many blooms on this tree as there are stars in the Milky Way, but it would be close! Very abundantly blooming over a long late spring and early summer season, this hard-to-find Chinese Dogwood is a treasure deserving of the best site in your landscape. Every season brings fresh beauty from this tree, and you will never tire of admiring its virtues.

The flowers are creamy-white and simply everywhere, appearing to weigh down the slightly downturned branches. They are followed by masses of red berries that birds find irresistible, persisting from late summer through autumn, even after the mid-green leaves have changed into bold shades of orange and red. And when the foliage finally falls, it is difficult to mourn its passing with the sight of the well... read more