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Cornus kousa - Buerger. ex Hance.

Common Name Japanese Dogwood, Kousa dogwood, Chinese Dogwood,
Family Cornaceae
USDA hardiness 5-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and scrub in the mountains of Sichuan[109]. Valleys, shaded slopes, by streams and roadsides, in mixed, sparse, and dense woods at elevations of 400 - 2200 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cornus kousa Japanese Dogwood, Kousa dogwood, Chinese Dogwood,


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Cornus kousa Japanese Dogwood, Kousa dogwood, Chinese Dogwood,

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Cornus kousa is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[61, 177]. Sweet and juicy[11, 183], it is very nice in small quantities[K]. Very seedy[105]. The skin is rather tough and unpleasant, but the pulp is delicious with a custard-like texture, it is one of our favourite late summer fruits[K]. The fruit is about 2cm in diameter[200]. Young leaves - cooked[105, 177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Wood

Wood - very hard and heavy. Used for mallets etc[151].

Special Uses

Food Forest

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Specimen, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility, from acid to slightly alkaline but dislikes shallow chalky soils[184, 188]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a rich well-drained loamy soil and a position that is at least partially sunny[11]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -20°c[184]. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[182]. Plants are slow-growing when young, they speed up somewhat after a few years but then soon slow down again[202]. The sub-species of C. kousa chinensis grows more freely, flowering and fruiting better in Britain though it barely differs in appearance from the species[11]. This species has been known to hybridize with C. capitata[182]. The cultivar 'Norman Hadden' could be such a hybrid[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Not North American native, Blooms are very showy. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a standard with a non-suckering single trunk [1-2].

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[80, 113]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[80, 164]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[164]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[80, 164]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[164]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame[188]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage[78]. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

Buerger. ex Hance.

Botanical References

11200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Ray Norton   Sat Jun 25 15:21:20 2005

Can you assist with information relating to possible problems with lack of flower i.e.age before flowering or a physiological condition???

Art Sekunda   Fri Jun 22 2007

Kousa tree has stoped flouring. How do you fix the problem?

John Simpson   Tue Jul 17 2007

I planted a cornus kousa chinnensis about 4 weeks ago. It has begun to shed its leaves. I had removed an old Viburnum because it suffered from leaf beetle, dug over the soil and added farmyard manure and soil improver. I planted a clematis and a hydrangea at the same time as I planted the dogwood. These are doing well. The dogwood is in part sun with shading at the back from a neighbour's leylandii hedge. I have ensured it has been well-watered. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. John.

Pam Pierce   Sat Oct 4 2008

I have a japanese dogwood in my yard. I don't know what varity it is. It has leaves in the spring. It buds out but never blooms. At the moment it has no leaves at all. Actually it looks dead. The tree has been planted for 5 years now. What can I do to help it?

   Tue Oct 21 2008

i reckomend plenty of bark mulch to keep soil moist.. make sure mulch not touching trunk or stems

Connie Lazarowicvh   Sun Oct 18 2009

My cornus kousa produced so much fruit that it's become a nuisance. There are so many overripe pods dropping on the ground and they are attracting rodents. How can I limit the amount of fruit the trees produce?

david   Fri Oct 23 2009

Removing flowers is the only way i can think of to reduce the number of fruit since flowers of course become fruit) this also usually means the few remaining fruit will be larger

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