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Item # Packet size Nett Weight Number Seeds(approx) Price Qty
Small 0.52 g 10 Seeds $3.30
Medium 1.05 g 20 Seeds $5.80

Please note: all seeds are sold by weight and seed count is approximate.

To keep seed prices low much of our seed is semi cleaned. More Info

 

This is a truly delightful ornamental tree with spectacular flowering. The white blooms almost cover the trees like snow, appearing in late spring they can last for several months in some cases. It has a lovely spreading form with wide flat branches that seem to occupy every inch of space but provide a lovely shape if planted alone with space to develop. The flowers attract many pollinators but the following bright red strawberry globe like fruits are very attractive to wildlife who consider them a delicacy. They are in fact delicious and are just as enjoyed by humans although they are not as commonly picked as other fruits - they really should be. In autumn the leaves turn scarlet and burgundy giving a great fall show after which the jigsaw like multi colored back is revealed to create winter interest.
Hardy to zone 4 around - F ( -20 C) its a very tough tree that needs little care or pruning once established fairly drought tolerant, not fussy about soil type provided it is well drained does not tolerate water logged soils.
Fairly easy to grow from seed. Needs some cold stratification before germination but its easy to achieve. Grows rapidly as a small tree but slows down as it matures reaching about 20 -30 feet when mature. Very long lived over 100 years makes a great addition to any property.

Description of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
Commonly known as the Kousa Dogwood it differs from the Native American Dogwood in several ways but the most noticeable are the flowers. Kousa dogwood flowers appear on the top side of the branches, all facing upwards to the sun and they cover the branches entirely in a profusion of very long lasting blooms. Each flower has a long stalk and there are four basically spherical 'petals' with strong points on the end the whole being about 3-5 inches (7.6-12.7 cm) across and basically star shaped. The 'petals' are not really considered petals at all but modified bracts that surround the true flowers which appear as a half spherical dome of tiny green flowers in the center of the bracts. Flowers bloom a full month after the native dogwoods and its not unknown for flowers to last well into summer making it a very attractive small tree. The flowers are followed by bright red globular fruits on long stalks up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter. they begin green then turn yellow/orange then ripen to red. Ripe fruits are soft and resemble globular strawberries due to the mottled outer skin. Inside the flesh is orange and contains several fairly large seeds. Ripe fruits will drop from the trees providing a delightful feast for all wildlife. The trees leaves are rounded to oval with a sharp end point up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. Leaves are deeply veined and mid to dark green making them interesting sculpturally. In fall they turn a deep red to scarlet. After they have fallen the tree bark becomes more noticeable with its mottled tan and grey coloring resembling a jigsaw puzzle. .
Kousa trees vary in shape. Young trees have a more upright appearance with branches reaching skyward and close to the main trunk in a more conical shape. As the tree matures more branching occurs and the trees form a layered habit with flat plains to the branches spreading over a larger area. Mature trees can reach 30 feet (9m) in height and spread the same distance outward. Their wide flat branches give them a distinctive and very attractive appearance. Trees are long lived and often reach 100 years. Kousa dogwoods are self fertile so only one tree is required to produce fruit.

Growing Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa) from Seed.
Seeds need to be cold stratified before they will germinate. All our seeds are kept cold before they are shipped to you so part of the process has already begun. For best results some moist stratification is suggested. There are several methods for doing this please see our Stratification instructions to choose the method that best suits your needs. Whatever method you choose place seed packet in the refrigerator as soon as it arrives to ensure they are kept cold until you are ready to begin.
We recommend soaking the seeds for 24 hours before planting whatever method you choose this ensures that seeds have sufficient moisture to begin their growing process. Moist stratifying for about 30 days is usually sufficient. See our Stratification Instructions to choose the method that best suits your needs. Some sources recommend scarifying the seed coat before you plant but we have not found this necessary.

Plant seeds in individual small pots cover lightly about 1/2 inch (1.27cm) of soil is usually sufficient. Use a good well draining potting mix. small 3 inch (7.6 cm) pots are sufficient to begin the growing process. Place in a slightly warm light area keep temperatures between 70-75 F during daylight hours cooler at night. Do not place in warmer areas it can stunt germination. A warm window is usually enough for these plants. Keep lightly moist. Germination can be erratic. Some seeds will develop in about a month others can take up to 18 months to develop. Grow plants on transplanting to larger pots as needed until about 6-8 inches (15.2-20.3 cm) tall before planting out after frost has past. Ensure that plants are hardened off before placing outside in full sun. For more details see our Growing Trees from Seeds article.

Location and Care of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
Location can depend on your zone. Its more to do with your light level than cold. Colder zones tend to be further north (unless you are on a tall mountain) and get less light so the trees need a full sun position. As zone warmth increases so does the light level so some shade can be tolerated, the further south you go the more shade it can tolerate, but it will always need some full sun.

Not really fussy about soil type but prefers a rich well drained soil with plenty of organic material. In all cases some organic material/soil fertility is required but will grow in almost any soil type as long as it is fairly well drained, will not tolerate waterlogged soils. However does not do as well in very highly alkaline soils such as chalk and limestone. Does flourish in acidic soils.
Water plants well when first transplanted at least for the first year until plants establish after that trees should not need extra water unless there is little rainfall for a long period. Trees are fairly drought tolerant which also makes they useful for being close to buildings and areas were water is more difficult. Does not make a good street tree due to its spreading nature.
Does best in open areas where it can spread and the true form of this tree is show at its most glorious. Choose the location carefully since trees don't like being transplanted after they are established due to spreading shallow root system. Young trees in their conical stage are more easily transplanted but once branches have begun to spread it is less likely to survive.
Trees grow rapidly in their young life but slow down and grow much more slowly as they age only about 12 inches (30.48 cm) per year Plants usually take 5 years to flower from seed.
Once established Kousa dogwoods take very little maintenance and care.
The plant is fairly resistant to honey fungus and so can be grown in land where these fungi have killed other trees.

Pruning Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
These trees usually don't need much in the way of pruning their ability to produce branches on wide flat plains to catch every inch of sunlight ensures that few small inner branches sprout once the trees have matured. Only on rare occasions will branches need to be removed. The most common reason to remove branches is that they drop too low over a lawn and there is no access beneath the tree. Even then its is suggested that other means be found rather than pruning which can destroy the beautiful shape the plants create.
If so desired trees can be heavily pruned into shape. Lollypop style is fairly popular in some landscape designs of office buildings, trees seem to tolerate it well.

Pollinator and Wildlife with Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
The bees and other pollinators love the flowers even humming birds on occasion. Almost all wildlife loves the fruit. For us the wild turkeys come and jump up in the trees to remove as many fruits as possible and clean up anything on the ground. However they have to beat the squirrels to the crop. These critters will systematically remove every single fruit from every Kousa tree they can find, stuffing themselves on the fruit flesh and storing the seeds for winter dining. If you are intending to harvest fruit make sure you get there before the critters beat you to it.

Harvesting of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
Fruits can be harvested directly from the tree as soon as they turn fully read and soft. It is recommended that gloves be worn as ripe fruit can squash when picked. Also ripe fruit tends to attract insects such as hornets and its too easy to pick a fruit with a hornet on it and get stung. (been there done that).

Culinary Uses of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
While some people consider the fruits inedible they are not and ripe fruit is truly delicious both fresh and cooked. the skin of the fruit is tough and gritty but the inner golden flesh is sweet and delicious. Fruits can be eaten directly from the tree - just spit out the large seeds - or the pulp can be extracted in the kitchen. Some suggest they taste like persimmons others more like sherbet and banana.
Fruits can also be processed into jams, jellies added to deserts or any other use you would have for fruit. Kousa ice cream is delightful.

Medical uses of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
None know at present time.

Other uses of Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).
Wood is very hard and heavy and used for making mallets and other tools and utensils.