Cornus kousa ‘Summer Stars’
Native to east Asia, Kousa dogwoods (Cornus kousa) are small multi-stemmed shrubs that have much to offer the garden. Chinese Dogwood grow to a height of 15 feet and a width of 10-20 feet and feature showy clusters of white flowers with white bracts held atop the branches in late spring, flowering after the ornamental dogwoods. This is followed by strawberry-sized pink-red berries from early to mid fall. It has green foliage with pointed leaves that turn an outstanding brick red in the fall.
‘Summer Stars’ Chinese Dogwood was patented by Princeton Nurseries in 1972. It grows to 20-25 feet tall with a 15-20 foot spread. This cultivar establishes a vase-like shape, and features horizontally-tiered branches. The peeling gray bark becomes mottled with age, adding an interesting dimension to the landscape. Unlike our native dogwood, Cornus florida, Kousa dogwood is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease. For this reason, C. kousa is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease.