2013

 
 

Here is a wonderful new Dogwood that should become quite popular. This introduction from Japan offers an ever-changing pallet of form and color that will brighten any garden and always draw the attention of visitors. This is Akatsuki dogwood, or Cornus kousa 'Akatsuki'. The Kousa dogwoods, as a group, are small, deciduous trees from East Asia that grow from 25 to 35 feet tall with a similar spread, a size most useful in today's gardens. They are typically showy in flower, fruit and foliage, but the Akatsuki cultivar is even more so. The foliage is variegated. In Spring leaves are bright green and white, each one totally unique in its markings and some flushed pink. If there were no further attributes the spring and summer foliage alone would make Akatsuki dogwood worth growing. But in late spring, early summer, masses of single blooms (actually bracts) cover the tree. They are white, beautifully streaked  with rosy-pink,  the combined effect making these some of the prettiest flowers anywhere. And then, with the cooler days of autumn, the foliage turns astounding shades of purple, pink, rose and mauve. The colors are so complex and rich that again the tree takes center stage in the garden, and the show lasts for weeks. Finally with the coming of winter the long foliage display fades and the tasty red fruits decorate the branches and provide food for wildlife.

With such striking beauty, the tree should be sited as prominently as possible. Akatsuki dogwood is specimen with a capital "S".

Quite simply, there is hardly any tree that offers the rewards of an Akatsuki dogwood. This handsome little tree is a good choice for a large container as well as the border, accent planting, or specimen. It has a wide range of adaptability tolerating hot, humid summers while being cold-hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is rugged and reliable and resistant to the anthracnose afflicting Cornus florida. Akatsuki dogwood is hardy throughout most of the US, the UK, New Zealand, and temperate Australia. As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

Beni fuji dogwood is also quite beautiful, as is Venus dogwood.

Akatsuki dogwood

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