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Japanese Dogwood Tree

Updated on March 1, 2018

Kousa Tree

Our Japanese Dogwood Tree in full bloom
Our Japanese Dogwood Tree in full bloom | Source

Japanese Dogwoods or Kousa Trees Bloom After The Regular Dogwoods

Almost 30 years ago, a friend of ours gave us a Kousa Tree, also known as a Japanese Dogwood Tree, because I had admired the one in their yard. They are very interesting trees and so much fun to watch. It blooms after our other dogwoods and looks a little different.

In the summer it will form red berries and will be filled with them. I didn't know until I created this page that you could actually eat these red berries from the Kousa Tree. We have our tree near our fish pond so we enjoy looking at it very often. I wonder if the fish enjoy the berries?

Japanese Dogwoods or Kousa Trees do very well in upstate South Carolina and are popular because they are showy and resistant to the dogwood disease that effects so many of the North American Blooming Dogwoods.

Update Note: May 5, 2012 - I am looking out the window in my office and see that our Japanese Dogwood is full of blooms getting ready to open completely. I am making a mental note to take lots more pictures.

I have certainly enjoyed the many visits and comments to this page and have been taught a few things about the Japanese Dogwood at the same time

Photo: Photo taken by Ohme in her yard. The photos on this page are the private property of Nancy Hellams are not to be copied.

Kousa Tree Berries

What Is A Japanese Dogwood or Kousa Dogwood Tree?

Japanese Dogwood or Kousa is also known as the Japanese Flowering Dogwood

According to Wikipedia, The Kousa Dogwood is native to Eastern Asia and is a small deciduous tree with simple leaves like most dogwoods. Our Kousa Dogwood Tree is not small by any means and can grow to over 20 feet high.

I did not know until I read it on Wikipedia that the fruit or berries are edible. I have never tried them but know that they are pretty and really make a show when the whole tree is covered. They also make a big mess when they are falling off the tree as they get to be a pretty large size unusual berry.

Photo: Wikipedia

Japanese Dogwood Close Up Picture - Shows the White Bract of the Kousa

How is the blossom of a Japanese Dogwood different from that of a North American Flowering Dogwood?

Japanese Dogwood and The North American Flowering Dogwood Are Both Enjoyed In Pendleton SC

The blossom of the Japanese Dogwood is like the North American Flowering Dogwood in that the white "flowers" are really the bracts and the flowers are the greenish yellow part.

This close up of the white bracts will show the way they look different. Notice that the ends are pointed instead of rounded. They usually bloom a month after the North American Flowering Dogwood. Pendleton SC is in upstate South Carolina and must have the perfect climate for them because they really make a show around our town during the month of May.

The shape of the tree itself is also different as the Japanese Dogwood usually grows up and tall not like the sprawling North American Flowering Dogwood. You might have seen one and thought that it looked a little different but really not recognize what the difference are unless they are growing side by side.

Comparison Of The Japanese Dogwood and The North American Dogwood - The Bract of the both the Japanese Dogwood and The N.A. Flowering Dogwood

Pendleton South Carolina's Historic Village Green Has Japanese Dogwoods - These Kousa Trees Are Still Relatively Young

I love this scene of the Japanese Dogwood on our Village Green with the Guard House in the background. Do you think it is because it also shows the bench that I claim as mine because it has my name on it?

Edible Red Berries of the Japanese Dogwood Tree - Have you tried to eat the fruit of the Kousa Tree or Japanese Dogwood?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The berries fall all over the groundBerries fall off the tree and hide in the grass like Easter Eggs
The berries fall all over the ground
The berries fall all over the ground
Berries fall off the tree and hide in the grass like Easter Eggs
Berries fall off the tree and hide in the grass like Easter Eggs

Have you ever eaten the fruit of the Kousa Tree? - I haven't eaten the fruit of the Kousa Tree but some folks have. Have You?

I have a friend who had an allergic reaction just by touching the berry so be very careful.

Have you eaten the Japanese Dogwood Berries?

See results

Our Japanese Dogwood Tree - Pendleton South Carolina

Japanese dogwood
Japanese dogwood

We have thoroughly enjoyed this tree. I have a perfect view of it out of my office window. It has really grown over the years. Thank goodness it survived the flood of 2013.

Photo by OhMe

Informative Video About The Kousa Dogwood

Another Interesting Kousa Video by Millie Davenport

Our Tree Is Getting So Big - We continue to enjoy it

Japanese Dogwood Blossom
Japanese Dogwood Blossom

Photo Credit: Photo taken by my 13 year old grandson May 2013. I think he has a good eye, don't you? I will be asking him to take more photos for me.

Thank you for your visit to my Japanese Dogwood! - Ya'll Come Back!

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 months ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you Connie. I will be so happy when everything is in bloom

    • profile image

      Connie Rasbury 2 months ago

      Such a beautiful tree. I wonder if the birds eat the berries. Another fun and informative article. Thank You!

    • profile image

      Lou M. 11 months ago

      Japanese Dogwoods are alive and well on Long Island, NY. We have three on our property all about 20 years old. In the spring and early summer every limb is literally blanketed with flowers. Awesome trees.

    • profile image

      Connie R. 3 years ago

      Beautiful... Thanks Nancy...

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you Camille. The Japanese Dogwood is a beautiful tree and I am looking at it right now as I type.

    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 3 years ago from SF Bay Area

      Beautiful photos!

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 4 years ago

      First, thank you for visiting my flying roach lens and your kind comments. I don't have a Dogwood, but I recently built a waterfall, and wanted a Japanese garden motif. With limited space, I figured trees were out. Then I found a dwarf Maple called 'Fireglow' and a weeping blossoming cherry called 'Snow fountain.' I wrote a lens about them called wildwoodfarm. I'd love a Dogwood if I had the room! Thanks for the great lens.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      A lovely tree. I'm going to find out if it would grow in my climate

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: I also read that someone experience a racing heart beat after eating one so there may be some that are prone to be allergic to them

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: I read that some people make jam out of the pulp. They said that it tasted a little like apricot. I have not tried it,myself

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      we have a tree that is loaded with berries. i never thought much about them before, but for some reason they just looked really plump and delicious today. I wasn't sure if they were edible so I tried a little nibble of the in side. It was sweet, reminded me of a mango. Does anyone know the correct way to eat the berries.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      There are so many beautiful things in Nature. Thank you for sharing this one.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I love the bonzai tree, I'd sure like to get one. The flowers on these trees are very beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love the japanese dogwood tree-the property we live on had one in bloom when we moved here 12 years ago. A year ago we had house fire and unfortunately the tree is gone to with rebuilding, etc. i am trying to find a perfect spot to plant a new one. i did not realize until the trees went into bloom this month how much I miss that tree. they are such a beauty to behold.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What a beautiful flower, I don't think I'd seen it before....and how nice to have that beauty in your own the bell! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just returned to Virginia from Gettysburg, PA. Saw the beauty of the Japanese Dogwood and am thinking of planting one here..It is magnificent when in bloom.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: I have never tried to eat the berries but hear that they are quite good. Glad you stopped by this page. Thank you

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: They do great here, too, in upstate South Carolina. It is a fun tree to watch.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @Michey LM: Thanks Michey. Yes, I think he does have a good eye. He needs to do more photography.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I come back with great pleasure to this lens, and I like the new additions, the grandson has a good eye for photos.

    • profile image

      Bartukas 5 years ago

      My favourite is cheerry and bonsai trees :P

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We just came from a Jack in the Box Restaurant in Olympia WA and they had several of these trees. They were just loaded with the big berries. No one there new what kind of tree it was so I came home and looked them up. I was surprised to see that they are originally from Asia. They were doing great here in the Pacific NW.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      There's a big tree in our neighborhood (northwest Washington State) with these berries falling all over now. No one knew what the berries were. They're sweet inside.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      What a lovely place to live. Thanks for the information on this pretty shrub.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I live in Florida and the only Japanese Dogwood I have ever seen was in Valle Crucis Park near Boone, North Carolina. I and a friend were walking in the Park and saw these trees with the red fruit on them. We had no idea what they were but tried the fruit anyway. It was very good. We took a few of the berries with us and tried to identify it without success. I am glad to know what it was we were eating. It is a beautiful tree. Helen Buccini, Ormond Beach Fl.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: Actually, we have never fertilized or pruned ours and it sounds like it might be about the same size as yours. Ours is full of berries now, too. I will see what I can find out. Thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a jap dogwood in my garden but do not know how to keep it fertilized or pruned it is about 25 ft tall now and full of the red berries. Help my email is

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a beautiful tree! Would love to have a yard with one or two of these!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Such a beautiful tree! I wonder if they would grow in Kansas...

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 5 years ago

      Just recently planted a couple of dogwoods and hope they will look as good as those presented here when they mature.

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Montreal

      That's a beautiful tree, will have to keep an eye out to see one in real life.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info. It is nice to visit lenses and learn something new each time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the story about how you got your name OhMe from your grandson!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @TonyPayne: Oh me, that would be wonderful for y'all to come to visit in Pendleton SC!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      These trees are wonderful aren't they. I don't know if we have any in the UK, and the berries are sure to create a mess, but they look really pretty. Nicely done, and I hope Debbie and I can make it to Pendleton one of these days to meet you all and see the Dogwoods.

    • profile image

      jikolan 5 years ago

      it is so white. 8)

    • JohnCumbow profile image

      JohnCumbow 5 years ago

      Lovely! I'll have to find a couple of these beautiful trees to add to our country garden.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      It seem that I know about this Japanese Dogwood tree when I see the fruit. It is familiar to me but I just don't know the name of it. Now I have learn something new today. Thanks for the information.

    • Sky-lab LM profile image

      Sky-lab LM 6 years ago

      I do not have one, because I do not have a yard. In our language it is called "japonica kutina" :)

    • oceansky lm profile image

      Lisa Morris 6 years ago

      Beautiful japanese dogwood trees. Blessings.

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 6 years ago

      Great article, these Dogwood trees are beautiful!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Beautiful! I've planted several dogwoods around our property, and look forward to the flowers every spring. And the birds really enjoy the berries in the fall. This year, a flock of cedar waxwings cleaned out one tree in an afternoon!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Very nice

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Another great and informative lens! The berries resemble a lot like lychee berries! :)

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing nice tree!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The Japanese dogwood tree in the front of Guard house looks completely blissful; I love trees and greenery.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      I learned something new today! I didn't know about Japanese Dogwood tree and would love to try Japanese Dogwood Berries some day.

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 6 years ago

      a wonderful plant, always an eyemagnet in any garden

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      We just moved in to the house this past April. It's been fun watching the trees bloom. One tree gets bloomsThat look like lily pads. I believe I have several Japanese dogwoodTrees as well. We live in Connecticut (zone 6) and the berries areJust turning red now. I'm tempted to try the fruit but I want tomake sure it's actually the Japanese dogwood first.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      We just moved in to the house this past April. It's been fun watching the trees bloom. One tree gets bloomsThat look like lily pads. I believe I have several Japanese dogwoodTrees as well. We live in Connecticut (zone 6) and the berries areJust turning red now. I'm tempted to try the fruit but I want tomake sure it's actually the Japanese dogwood first.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      No, but it looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing:)

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 6 years ago

      Learnt a lot about Dogwood today. Nice Lens

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Dogwood is one of my all time favorite shrubs. I just returned from visiting my mom who has a gorgeous Cornus Florida in bloom, which I think is the American flowering you refer to here? Thank you for the side-by-side images of the Kousa and the American flowering dogwood. You answered that question just as I was beginning to scroll down to find it!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Beautiful work! I never knew that Japanese dogwoods produced fruit!

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      Great lens with beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing.

    • Mistalina profile image

      Mistalina 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens! Thank you for sharing your knowledge of the Japanese Dogwood.

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 6 years ago

      Wonderful flowering trees! The 'Pacific' dogwood is British Columbia's flower emblem. They are beautiful trees!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The Japanese Dogwood is one of my favorites!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      These trees are so pretty I've seen them before, but I didn't know you could eat the fruits!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'd never heard of a Japanese Dogwood--these are beautiful. They look enough like a dogwood that you know that's what they are, but their pointed bracts make them look more....well, Japanese! I'd love to try the berries. Wonderful lens--you must have a fantastic garden.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Oh they are such cheerful looking trees. I love the flowers on them. I had no idea about the difference in shape re: North American vs. Japanese Dogwood tree. Great lens!

    • marckq profile image

      marckq 6 years ago

      Lovely dogwood trees, I hope I'll find some in our local nursery

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Just lovely! Great to have your own bench at the park!

    • profile image

      ShellB 6 years ago

      What a beautiful tree!

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 6 years ago

      This is a very nicely done lens. Thank you for sharing what you know about Japanese Dogwoods :p

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I just bought one and grounted beside my pond , doesn't have to many leaves and this normal 4 the first year ??..are there any suggestions from you guys ..we are from nort VA..

    • profile image

      NYThroughTheLens 7 years ago

      So pretty! I didn't know you could actually eat the berries. Nice lens.

    • Sara Valor profile image

      Sara Valor 7 years ago from Breezy Hills

      Just love japanese dogwood trees whether they are pink or white. I had no idea you can eat the berries, but this is always good to know. All the essentials of living and surviving in the woods seems to have passed away with time. Some of these things we do need to know and I think this is one of them. Thanks for sharing this info with us!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      I have seen these trees, but I had no idea what they were! Lovely photos - very enjoyable visit today. Thank you!!!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very beautiful...thanks for brightening my morning.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 7 years ago from Washington KS

      OH what a beautiful tree!! Thank you for this gorgeous lens.It brightened my day.

    • Anahid LM profile image

      Anahid LM 7 years ago

      Hi I love dogwood trees we had one but it was very old the wind broke it. I wish you a happy Easter. Anna

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have one of these trees in paignton Devon and the fruit is superb this year masses of it.and will make a big mess soon,

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @anonymous: Ours did that one year but was fine the next. I will see what I can find out. Hopefully, it will be beautiful for you next summer. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have two of these Dogwoods in my yard. The lady at the nursery talked us into them, they were expensive! You are right, they bloom late. I almost gave up on them and then boom! Tons of flowers that lasted a long time. One of them didn't do too well this summer and all the leaves curled up and started turning brown. It looks like it will make it but does not look great. Any suggestions? I watered it periodically. Thanks! Sue

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      I have never heard of this type of dogwood tree. I have had many of the other kind in my yards though. I even learned something new today.

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 7 years ago

      Lovely lens :) I have added you to the lensroll on my Unusual Edibles lens!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      what a beautiful tree and a lovely lens.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I didn't know you could eat the fruits. I'll have to try some. Added as a featured lens on my lens about edible wild berries.

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 7 years ago

      The dogwood tree sure looks beautiful. I had never heard or seen one before. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I live downtown asheville, there are 9 trees of this nature, Iwell everybody know not to eat of this fruit,today I was watching this lady, she was actually feasting on the tree, I ask her was she aware of eating those berries, strangely she says yes I do. The delicious, and that they edible. she continue eating the beerieg, even pack a few more for her dessert, she states she come by every day. I notice lately that they were disappering. . yes she offered me one, No No! thanks.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      added to the following lens:The Best Colorful Backyard Flowering Bushes In The Market

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Beautiful tree. I think the fruit looks like a raspberry.Does it taste similar?

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Beautiful! Now I have to look around and see if any of the Dogwoods in our area are the Japanese kind. I didn't know the difference before!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have a Japanese dogwood and live in NY state. It flowered very poorly this year--not many blooms and they browned early. The tree is about 8-10 years old and about 15 ft high. I'd appreciate any insight as to why this may be happening --Thanks!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Oh how this made me miss living in Virginia where I grew 3 of the Japanese dogwoods. I love that they fit in compact spaces. They are so beautiful and this lens is a beauty too!

    • profile image

      Gift-Guide 8 years ago

      This is the first time I am seeing Japanese dogwood flowers. They are beautiful.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      I love the photos here! Blessing this lens!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      This dogwood tree is beautiful and would love to have one in my yard. Trees and shrubs make nice gifts,too. You are lucky your friend was so kind to give you this beautiful tree. It sure has grown well in 15 years. Have a Happy Easter weekend. ~Wendy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      We don't have any dogwoods. I've thought about it, but they need to be protected from the sun and the heat when they're small. I'm not sure where I could put it.Thanks for sharing

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Beautiful flowers!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      Ok, this is beautiful! Now I need one of these too!

    • profilesincolor profile image

      profilesincolor 8 years ago

      Lovely Lens! :-) Always more to learn! :-) Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      This is beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      We have a Kousa Dogwood in our front yard here in New Hampshire, and have enjoyed the blooms and unusual red berries in the fall, but until now did not know they were edible!!! I immediately went out with my 12 year old and picked a few. They are sweet, with a bit of a tang, (maybe not ripe enough) but very enjoyable! Can't wait to tell my husband. Oh, you don't see many of these around here, in fact I don't think I have seen another one since we lived here. There must be some around, though...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have the Japaneese dogwood in my yard and did not know anything about it until know...thanks for the info. It is full of red berries and do make a mess as they start to fall due to the soft orange filling in each berry. I have never tried to eat one nor did I know the berries were edible until now. I've been living here now for 3 years and this year is the first time the tree is shedding it's bark. Does anyone know if this is normal???

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for your info and pictures! Our Japanese Dogwood in our garden in the Netherlands is full of fruit, and though I have not found any recipes, I will try to use them as stuffing for white meat, as they are sweet but acidic. I hope to share the results in 3D soon.

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      I love Trees and this one is beautiful - thanks so much for the share.

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      It never ceases to amaze me just how different the trees and plant life in my native Asia is from our home here stateside. They almost seem a little more graceful and have completely different personalities. I was not that familiar with the Japanese Dogwood, I have always been more of a fan the Japanese Cherry Blossoms and the Bonzai Tree, but you have certainly enlightened me! TY! =)

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      We have several American flowering dogwoods, but no Kousa! They're beautiful!


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