In the spring, Mount Auburn is alive with the colorful blooms of more than 200 dogwood trees. Grown as ornamental trees here in the U.S., dogwood trees like the Cornus kousa, also known as Kousa Dogwood or Japanese Flowering Dogwood, are native to China, Korea and Japan.
The striking “flowers” of the Kousa Dogwood are actually the pointed white bracts that appear below clusters of smaller, greenish-yellow inflorescences. Showy bracts that start out white and fade to pink attract many visitors to the Kousa Dogwood on the eastern end of Vesper Path at the Cemetery every spring.
The Kousa Dogwood tree retains interest throughout the summer and into autumn when it produces rasperry-like hanging fruit and reddish-purple leaves. All year around visitors may find delight in the mottled tree bark of the Kousa Dogwood which exfoliates, revealing a pattern of tannish yellow-to-brown and grayish-white lenticels.
*This Horticulture Highlight was originally published in the June 2007 issue of the Friends of Mount Auburn electronic newsletter.