• Central Park Conservancy Logo

Kousa Dogwood

kousa dogwood main
First imported from Japan to the United States in the 19th century, the Kousa dogwood is a cousin of the native flowering dogwood. Like its native cousin, the Kousa dogwood's showy bracts (modified leaves), are mistaken for flowers. The flowers themselves are greenish-yellow and are found in the center of the bracts and bloom in early June.

Common Name: Kousa Dogwood

Scientific Name: Cornus kousa

Origin: Japan, Korea, and China

Family: Cornaceae

Size: 30' tall, width equal to greater

Form: Vase shaped when young, rounded when mature

Culture: Full to partial shade; prefers moist, fertile, acidic, well-drained soil high in organic matter


2 - 4", opposite arrangement, simple, tips taper to a point, tufts of hair on the vein axils and undersides


Small; greenish-yellow; surrounded by four large, showy, pointed white bracts; turn pink with age; bloom early June


Dull, raspberry-red pendants when ripe


Older bark develops exfoliating character, revealing a mix of gray-tan and mahogany brown