CHINESE DOGWOOD Cornus kousa chinensis

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Cornus kousa is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall. Common names include kousa, kousa dogwood, Chinese dogwood, Korean dogwood, and Japanese dogwood. Synonyms are Benthamia kousa and Cynoxylon kousa. Widely cultivated as an ornamental, and it is naturalized in New York State.

Like other Cornus, C. kousa has opposite, simple leaves, 4–10 cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four, white petals are actually four spreading bracts below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out. The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry.

It can be distinguished from the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America by its more upright habit, and flowering about a month later. It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, unlike C. florida, which is very susceptible and commonly killed by it; for this reason, C. kousa is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease.

Fall foliage is a showy red color!

Hardiness zones: 4-9

Seeds per pack: 3

Germination: Soak the seeds in water, let stand in water for 24 hours. Cold stratify for 90 days. Sow seed 3/8" deep, tamp the soil. Fall sowing in mulched beds is preferred to artificial stratification. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking a few months, though well worth the wait!

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