Cornus kousa cv. ‘Milky Way’
Kousa dogwood is native to Japan, North Korea, and China. Cultivars are like this one are grown as attractive ornamentals in many areas in North America.
Identification: This cultivar produces more flowers and fruit than the original. Trees are typically 15-20' (4.6-6.1 m) tall, with bark that peels of in large irregular layers, producing varying coloration in the trunk resembling camouflage that most find appealing. The three shape is vase-shaped at first, maturing into a rounded crown. It has opposite leaves 2-4" (5-10 cm) × ¾-1" (1.9-2.5 cm), elliptic to ovate in shape, with smooth edges and leaf veins that are nearly parallel to the edges. Dark green summer leaves turn red or purple in the fall. Dogwoods have showy white “flowers” about 3" (7.6 cm) wide. Actually, though, the flowers are bracts—modified leaves, and the true flowers are an inconspicuous disc of yellow-green florets in the center. They flower from June to early July. The fruits are the most unique aspect of this dogwood: bumpy globes about ¾-1" (1.9-2.5 cm) around, bright pink, fading to dull red. The fruits reach upward on the ends of branches unless the branches bend. They are coveted by birds and squirrels.
Edibility: Fruits are sweet and juicy raw or cooked, though very seedy and with a tough outer covering. The seeds are said to be poisonous, though.
Cornus kousa cv. ‘Milky Way’ at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Cornus kousa cv. ‘Milky Way’ at the University of Florida Environmental Horticulture site
Cornus kousa cv. ‘Milky Way’ on joa.isa-arbor.com (PDF)
Cornus kousa cv. ‘Milky Way’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 5a-8b: