Our Kousa dogwood trees are interesting all year round. They reach around 30 feet tall and live between 50 and 150 years. In late spring, its star-shaped white bracts (modified leaves) surround small yellow-green flowers to put on a lovely display. The bracts seem to perch themselves above the dark green foliage, giving the impression that the tree is decorated with powdery snow.
Kousas are a favorite source of nectar for the American Snout butterfly. These butterflies camouflage themselves amidst the tree’s branches. Holding their antennae downward like a stem, they avoid predators by appearing to be a dead leaf. The tree’s canopy provides abundant shade on the lawns of the park during the summer. They turn a radiant purple-red in the fall and produce raspberry-like berries. As winter comes, the Kousa’s bark provides an interesting contrast, with its mottled tan and gray patterns.