Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Milky Way’

Chinese dogwood

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

‘Milky Way’ was selected for is large flowers and prolific bloom. In June star-shaped flowers open lime green and quickly change to a creamy white. The flowers can be so numerous you can hardly see any green leaves! In late summer bright red strawberry-like fruits hang from the branches until autumn turns the leaves deep red and scarlet. This small to medium sized tree has a graceful and refined layered branching pattern and older trees show a flaking patchwork of gray, tan and green on the trunk. This dogwood is resistant to dogwood anthracnose, the disease that affects our native dogwood.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering in well drained soil, clay, or sandy soils

Seasonal Interest: early summer flowers; autumn color

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: bronze, gold

Great Color Partners: cream, white, red

Culture Notes
Plant this slow growing tree in a moist, well-drained soil with full sun to light or open shade. It can be adaptable to sandy soils and clay with regular watering during dry weather. The lovely layered form can easily be ruined by pruning. Consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune.