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CORNUS kousa 'Milky Way'

Image of Cornus kousa ssp. chinensis 'Milky Way'

Russell Stafford

Family

Cornaceae

Botanical Name

CORNUS kousa ssp. chinensis 'Milky Way'

Plant Common Name

Chinese Dogwood, Kousa Dogwood, Milky Way Dogwood

General Description

The Kousa dogwood, a native of Korea and Japan, is a small, flowering deciduous tree prized for its hardiness, late bloom, resistance to disease and fall color. This selection, ‘Milky Way,’ is notable for its extravagant profusion of white flowers. Like those of other kousa dogwoods the flowers consist of a central cluster of small green true flowers surrounded by four large bracts (petal-like leaves) that are oval with pointed tips. These composite blooms face upward at the tip of curved stems and are closely spaced in clusters. Flowering runs four to six weeks, starting in late spring. At full bloom, the tree looks clothed in white. The tiny true flowers give way in summer to loose clusters of small red fruits that squirrels and birds soon consume. The leaves, which are middle green, turn scarlet in autumn.

While kousa dogwoods are adaptable, tolerating a wide range of soils, they grow best on well-drained, moist soil in full sun to partial shade. In full sun the leaves may scorch during spells of hot, dry weather unless the tree is watered. Use ‘Milky Way’ as a specimen tree, in a foundation planting, at an entryway or along a path. It may also be used as an understory tree in a woodland or at the edge of a woodland.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Pink, Burgundy, Crimson, Dark Red

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown, Sienna, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No