Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Kousa Dogwood in the Alphabet District, NW Hills
Last May, 2007, I started to notice these sort of muted, creamy, almost dogwood-shaped blossoms, practically at eye level as I walked down the slightly steep sidewalk from West Burnside to our apartment building. As time passed, I snapped these photos. I lucked up on finding out what the tree's name is, with the help of Google and Marsha at work--she's quite the gardener.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa or Benthamidia kousa), also known as the Japanese Flowering Dogwood (Yamaboushi (ヤマボウシ, Yamaboushi?)), is a small deciduous tree 8-12 m tall, native to eastern Asia. Like most dogwoods, it has opposite, simple leaves, which are 4-10 cm long.
The tree is extremely showy when in flower, but the "flowers" are actually showy white bracts below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The flowering is in late spring, weeks after it leafs out. It has a relatively upright habit, unlike the closely related Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America, which has a sprawling habit. It also differs from that in flowering about a month later, and in having pointed (not rounded) flower bracts.
The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2-3 cm diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree surpass 4 cm. It is edible; though lacking any interesting flavour to humans, it is taken by birds.
There are two varieties:
* Cornus kousa var. kousa. Leaves 4-7 cm; flower bracts 3-5 cm. Japan.
* Cornus kousa var. chinensis. Leaves 5-10 cm; flower bracts 4-6 cm. China.
It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, unlike Flowering Dogwood, which is very susceptible and commonly killed by it; for this reason, Kousa Dogwood is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease. A number of hybrids between Kousa Dogwood and Flowering Dogwood have also been selected for their disease resistance and good flower appearance.