Cornus Kousa

From the Missouri Botanical Backyard web site, learn the next concerning the kousa dogwood. “Cornus kousa, generally referred to as Kousa dogwood, is a small, deciduous flowering tree or multi-stemmed shrub that usually grows 15-30’ tall, with a vase-shaped behavior within the early years however finally maturing to a extra rounded type. Bloom happens in late spring. The showy elements of the Kousa dogwood “flower” (3-5” throughout) are the 4 narrowly pointed petal-like white bracts which encompass the middle cluster of insignificant, yellowish-green, true flowers. Flowers are adopted by berry-like fruits (to 1” diameter) which mature to a pinkish pink in summer season and persist into fall. Fruits are technically edible, however are often left for the birds. Oval, pointed leaves (to 4” lengthy) are darkish inexperienced, however often turns engaging shades of reddish-purple to scarlet in autumn. Mottled, exfoliating, tan and grey bark on mature bushes is engaging in winter.

This matter of truth description doesn’t start to handle the great thing about a kousa dogwood in full and superb bloom. I doubt I’ve ever written about them within the 10 years I’ve been publishing my backyard design journal. Primarily as I’ve by no means ever seen them so spectacular in flower as they’re proper now. The kousa dogwood is native to Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan.  They’re rated as hardy and thriving in zone 5 to eight, however my expertise suggests they will act a bit of hostile in the direction of our baking summers, and heavy clay primarily based soil. They appear to favor skinny compost wealthy soil on the acid facet that drains in a short while. I do discover they carry out higher than American dogwood (cornus florida) on the whole.

My principle appears to have some help. This has been the rainiest and coolest spring I can ever bear in mind. We’ve got had many extra wet than dry days. It was 48 levels this morning, and barely 60 levels this afternoon. The bottom is totally drenched. I make an effort to remain out of the backyard, even when it means the foot tall weeds are getting nearer to 2 toes tall. The grass is squishy. For the Kousas to placed on such a uncommon present of extravagant bloom says there’s positively one thing within the air that they like.

The precise flowers are small and insignificant.  The entire present comes from the 4 stiff vivid white bracts that encompass the flower. In a stellar 12 months, these hundreds of bracts overlap each other to provide a stable sheet of white. Even at maturity, a kousa dogwood is sufficiently small to comfortably place in an city panorama. Sited with some afternoon shade, a routine supply of water and nice drainage, all a gardener has to do is await that one 12 months when all the celebs align for a brilliant bloom.

Do you have to be a kind of individuals who drives the neighborhood to take a look at vacation lights, a cruise may be so as.  You’ll be able to spot them for a minimum of a block away. Out of flower, they’ve good-looking foliage, and much more good-looking exfoliating bark when they’re older-but the star of the as soon as in a blue moon present are the flowers.

In 2009, a hybrid of Cornus Kousa, and the Pacific coast dogwood, Cornus Nutallii, was launched from the breeding program at Rutgers College. Once more, from the Missouri Botanical Backyard web site:  the dogwood “Venus”  These 4 bushes planted within the tree garden at my home are younger, however they are going to develop. Even at a 2″ caliper dimension, I can spot the flowers from a number of blocks away.

This hybrid is hardier than both guardian.  They thrive in full solar, and develop quick when they’re completely happy. The flowers can simply attain 6″ to 7″ in diameter. We’ve got in all probability planted higher than 100 of them since 2011, with only some losses. They’re a bit of shy to bloom till they’ve been within the floor for a 12 months or two, however as soon as they begin, they’re cease you lifeless in your tracks beautiful.

They rival the magnolias for the showiest spring flowering tree.  As with Cornus Kousa, Venus flowers in June, avoiding late spring frosts that so usually injury the flowers of magnolias.

A pair of small bushes I planted Three years in the past are lined with flowers this 12 months.
This shade backyard planted some Four years in the past for my shoppers encompasses a pair of Venus dogwoods. They’re particularly completely happy to have them this 12 months.


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