Culture: Best grown in humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, acidic to neutral, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Performs well in sandy loams. Appreciates consistent moisture during hot summers.
Characteristics: Cornus kousa var. chinensis is native to China and is commonly called Chinese dogwood. It is a small, deciduous, flowering tree or multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows 15-30′ tall with a vase-shaped habit in the early years, eventually maturing to a more rounded form. Bloom occurs in late spring. The showy parts of the dogwood “flower” are the four narrowly pointed petal-like white bracts which surround the center cluster of insignificant, yellowish-green, true flowers. Flowers are followed by berry-like fruits (to 1″ diameter) which mature to a pinkish red in summer and persist into fall. Var. chinensis is very similar to the species except for having slightly larger flower bracts, larger fruit, and larger, smoother and often more pubescent leaves. It is a broad, bushy tree that is particularly noted for its abundant flowers and showy fruit. It typically matures to 20′ tall and as wide. Flower bracts are creamy white and bloom in profusion in June. Red berries mature in summer. Berries are exceptionally large and are edible (inner custard-like consistency) off the plant. Birds also love the fruit. Fruits persist on the plants into fall past the point of foliage drop. Oval, pointed, dark green leaves (to 4″ long) turn orange-red to scarlet in autumn. Mottled, exfoliating, tan and gray bark is attractive in winter. Zones 4 to 8.
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