Kousa Dogwood (Cornus Kousa Var. Chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL)

Plant: Table of Contents

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL) – A Botanist’s Guide


As a plant scientist with a deep passion for ornamental trees, I find remarkable joy in exploring the world of plant species and their unique characteristics. Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL) stands out as a marvelous ornamental tree that captivates the attention of horticulturists and nature enthusiasts alike.

In this comprehensive guide, I will delve into the fascinating world of the Kousa dogwood, with a specific focus on the variety ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL. From its cultural requirements and growth habits to its unique features and common diseases, I will cover all aspects that will help you understand and care for this stunning dogwood variety.

What is Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL)?

Kousa dogwood, scientifically known as Cornus kousa, is a species of flowering tree in the dogwood family (Cornaceae). Originating from East Asia, particularly China, Korea, and Japan, Kousa dogwood is renowned for its elegant white or pink bracts that surround the true flowers. The ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL variety is a cultivar of Cornus kousa var. chinensis and is celebrated for its exceptional ornamental value in landscapes and gardens.

Key Takeaways

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL) – Fast Facts

  • Scientific Name: Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL
  • Common Name: Kousa Dogwood, Chinese Kousa Dogwood, Madison Crown Jewel Dogwood
  • Plant Type: Deciduous Tree
  • Mature Height: 15-20 feet
  • Mature Spread: 15-20 feet
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8
  • Flower Color: Creamy White
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
  • Unique Feature: Striking fall foliage and exfoliating bark

Madison Crown Jewel Characteristics

  • Delicate, creamy white flowers
  • Exceptional fall foliage with shades of pink, red, and purple
  • Attractive exfoliating bark
  • Compact and graceful growth habit
  • Outstanding disease resistance

Now that we have a brief overview of the Kousa dogwood variety ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL, let’s explore the specific cultural requirements and care tips to help this stunning tree thrive in your garden or landscape.



Kousa dogwoods, including the ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL variety, generally prefer moist, well-draining soil. However, once established, they demonstrate remarkable drought tolerance. During the initial establishment phase, it’s crucial to ensure consistent moisture, particularly during hot and dry periods.

Watering Tips:
– Provide approximately 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or manual watering.
– Apply mulch around the base of the tree to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.


These ornamental trees thrive in partial shade to full sun conditions. While they can tolerate partial shade, providing full sun exposure can promote optimal flowering and vibrant fall foliage colors.

Sunlight Recommendations:
– Aim for at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day for robust growth.
– Ensure adequate spacing to allow sunlight to penetrate the canopy and reach the lower branches.


Fertilization plays a vital role in promoting healthy growth and enhancing the ornamental characteristics of Kousa dogwood trees. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants can provide the necessary nutrients for vigorous growth and abundant flowering.

Fertilizer Application:
– Apply a granular, balanced fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins.
– Avoid over-fertilization, as excessive nitrogen can lead to lush foliage at the expense of flowers.


Kousa dogwood trees thrive in well-draining, slightly acidic soils. They are adaptable to various soil types, including loamy, sandy, or clay soils.

Soil Considerations:
– Conduct a soil test to assess pH levels and make necessary amendments to maintain a slightly acidic soil pH (around 5.5-6.5).
– Incorporate organic matter into the soil during planting to improve soil structure and fertility.


Proper pruning is essential for maintaining the structural integrity, aesthetics, and overall health of Kousa dogwood trees. Pruning tasks primarily focus on removing damaged or crossing branches, shaping the tree, and promoting better air circulation within the canopy.

Pruning Guidelines:
– Conduct pruning during late winter or early spring while the tree is dormant.
– Use clean, sharp pruning tools to make precise cuts without causing unnecessary damage to the tree.


The propagation of Kousa dogwood trees, including the ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL variety, can be achieved through various methods, such as seed propagation, hardwood cuttings, and grafting.

Propagation Techniques:
Seed Propagation: Harvest seeds from ripe fruits and sow them in a well-prepared seed bed or containers.
Hardwood Cuttings: Collect hardwood cuttings during the dormant season and propagate them under controlled conditions to encourage root development.
Grafting: Utilize grafting techniques to propagate specific cultivars and ensure the retention of desired ornamental traits.

Container Popularity

While Kousa dogwood trees can thrive in containers, it’s essential to provide adequate space for the roots to spread and establish. Container-grown Kousa dogwoods, including the ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL variety, can be showcased on patios, decks, or in smaller garden spaces, adding an exquisite touch of ornamental beauty.

Container Requirements:
– Select a large container with sufficient drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
– Use a well-draining potting mix and ensure regular watering to maintain soil moisture.

Common Diseases

Disease Diagnosis

Kousa dogwood trees, known for their exceptional disease resistance, can occasionally face issues such as powdery mildew, leaf spot diseases, and anthracnose.

Common Diseases:
Powdery Mildew: Identified by a powdery white fungal growth on the leaves, leading to distorted growth and reduced vigor.
Leaf Spot Diseases: Manifest as dark spots or lesions on the leaves, potentially causing premature leaf drop and defoliation.
Anthracnose: Characterized by dark, sunken lesions on the leaves and stems, often leading to severe dieback in susceptible varieties.

Disease Prevention

Applying preventive measures can help mitigate the risk of disease development and preserve the overall health and vitality of Kousa dogwood trees.

Preventive Strategies:
– Ensure proper spacing and adequate air circulation to minimize favorable conditions for disease establishment.
– Avoid overhead watering to reduce leaf moisture and minimize the spread of fungal pathogens.

Common Pests

While Kousa dogwood trees are relatively resistant to major pest infestations, they can occasionally encounter issues such as scale insects, aphids, and borers.

Common Pests:
Scale Insects: Small, immobile insects that often appear as waxy or cottony growths on the stems and undersides of leaves.
Aphids: Soft-bodied insects that cluster on new growth and leaf undersides, leading to distorted growth and honeydew production.
Borers: Larvae of various moth species that bore into the stems or trunk, potentially causing extensive damage and weakening the tree.

Botanist’s Tips for Success

1. Selecting the Planting Site

Choose a well-draining location with adequate sunlight and ample space for the tree to reach its mature size without restrictions.

2. Maintaining Soil Moisture

Regularly monitor soil moisture levels, particularly during the establishment phase, to ensure consistent hydration without waterlogging.

3. Implementing Mulching Practices

Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, maintaining a distance from the trunk, to conserve soil moisture and inhibit weed growth.

Fun Facts

  • Kousa dogwood fruits, often referred to as “cornelian cherries,” are edible and can be used in jams, jellies, and other culinary creations.
  • The exfoliating bark of mature Kousa dogwood trees displays an intricate pattern of mottled grays and browns, adding winter interest to the landscape.
  • The term “CROWN JEWEL” in the ‘Madison’ cultivar’s name symbolizes the exceptional ornamental value and beauty it brings to garden settings.

Links to External Resources

Read more about Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL) and related topics through the following resources:

  1. University of Florida IFAS Extension – Kousa Dogwood
  2. Missouri Botanical Garden – Cornus kousa
  3. The American Society of Landscape Architects – Kousa Dogwood Benefits

In conclusion, the Kousa dogwood variety ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL stands as an exemplary ornamental tree, captivating the hearts of gardeners, landscape designers, and nature enthusiasts with its remarkable beauty and resilience. By understanding its specific cultural requirements, unique features, and maintenance guidelines, you can cultivate and cherish the extraordinary charm of this ornamental gem in your own garden or landscape.

Remember to embrace the joy of nurturing and witnessing the seasonal transformations of the Kousa dogwood, from its delicate spring blossoms to the resplendent hues of autumn foliage, making it a truly enchanting addition to any outdoor setting.

With careful attention and dedicated care, the ‘Madison’ CROWN JEWEL dogwood will undoubtedly flourish and inspire admiration for years to come, enriching the natural tapestry of your garden with its timeless elegance and enchanting allure.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.