Pink Cornus Kousa Cultivars

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by Gordo, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I am wondering if anyone can give me advice regarding pink blooming forms of Kousa Dogwood. I am particularly interested in the health and vigor of the cultivars:
    'Heart Throb'
    'Beni Fuji'
    'Ruby Slippers'

    I am also wondering about whether all the cultivars listed in various references are indeed significantly different.

    Thanks,
    Gordo
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I'd try Cornus kousa 'Hanros' RADIANT ROSE(TM). That seems fairly distinctive, small plants have been appearing in local gardens recently. Cappiello/Shadow, DOGWOODS (Timber, 2005) say "Compared to 'Miss Satomi', 'Hanros' shows deeper green foliage, dark red-maroon fall color, and in the Pacific Northwest better red bract color. Handy (pers. comm.) also reports this selection to retain better quality foliage in the summer."

    C. kousa 'Schmred' HEART THROB(TM) PP 9,283: "DNA research at the University of Tennessee has indicated this to be the same as 'Miss Satomi' and 'Rosabella'. The plants Paul [Cappiello] has seen look identical, but the material circulating around the industry is likely completely confused."

    C. kousa 'Beni Fuji' PP 8,676 "has among the deepest red bracts of any form on the market today. Like all the pink forms, this one shows best color in cooler summer climates."

    There is a nearly full page discussion of the "confusion surrounding" pink Kousa in commerce at present on page 147 of DOGWOODS.
     
  3. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you Ron, for the detailed info. Incredible! I know that the variety 'Ruby Slippers' was developed at Wells Nursery in Mount Vernon WA & was the subject of a small article in Sunset Magazine several years ago. So far I have only seen pictures, and I am somewhat sceptical about whether it is distinct, given the apparent confusion surrounding named cultivars.

    Gordo.
     
  4. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    I have seen all four cultivars, Satomi, Radiant Rose, Heart Throb, and Beni Fuji field grown together; Satomi and Heart Throb are very similar and seem to be the most vigorous and easiest as young trees. Radiant Rose was also vigorous but had slightly more awkward branching as young trees. The nurseryman who patented Radiant Rose admits that most pink kousas are nearly identical when grown side by side. Beni Fuji seems to be slower growing, but in bloom is quite similar to the others. They all IMOH have better foliage and fall color than seedling kousas.
     
  5. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Interesting. Disease resistance and vigor are the most important elements to me, so it seems that 'Satomi' may be the winner here for me, though I won't rule out trying other varieties. I have read somewhere that disease resistance (anthracnose & powdery mildew) varies wildly among the various cultivars of Cornus kousa. Since the Number of cultivars seems to be rapidly expanding (Michael Dirr lists some 80 varieties)
    this would seem to be an area of study of continuing relavance.
    Thanks for your input.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    DO NOT choose 'Satomi'! It is perhaps the MOST apt to develop diseased foliage of all, much more so than a white Kousa. A friend listened to a dogwood breeder speak at the Farwest Show (annual nursery trades convention) one year, this guy said the gene for pink bracts and anthracnose susceptibility are linked. You can sure see that in 'Satomi'. Subsequent introductions (to general commerce) may be cleaner.
     
  7. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    For now, I may just stick with 'Stellar Pink', even though I dont think the bloom color is that great. Some time ago, I stumbled across a 1990's North Carolina study for which I don't, unfortunately, have the publisher data. Although it is limited in the number of cultivars studied, it may be of some interest:

    Ranney, Thomas G., Grand Larry F., Knighten, John L. "Suseptibility of Cultivars and Hybrids of Kousa Dogwood to Dogwood Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew".

    This study involved twenty taxa of kousa dogwoods, including most of the 'Stellar' series hybrids developed at Rutgers. Among the conclusions: "The cultivars 'Steeple', 'Stardust(TM)', 'Stellar Pink(TM)', 'Milky Way', and 'Galaxy' were found to be resistant to dogwood anthracnose..."
     
  8. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Another thought on pink kousa - perhaps an alternative;

    At my old house we had five mature Kousa dogwoods (all sold as the species). One of these appeared grafted & was distinct in habit. What was most unusual about this tree was the bloom (bract) color. Blooms consistently started white, then gradually turned to a deep, deep red. Quite a stunning effect. The only cultivar I have seen described this way is 'Cedar Ridge Select'.
     
  9. digital flower

    digital flower Member

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    Obviously different people have had different results but my garden cultivation of 'Satomi' has been pleasant. No fungus. I have planted this tree in several places and found it to be of good habit and a reliable bloomer. Nice fruit and above average fall color, also. One thing I have observed is that the flower color becomes darker over the years. 'Heart Throb' looks a darker to me with more of an upright habit. Fall color is also good. If you are looking for a small tree try Dwarf Pink. It's flower is light pink.

    One place I work has about 15 cultivars of Kousa. 'Autumn Rose', 'Gold Star', 'Lustgarten's Weeping', 'Milky Way' are some of my favorites. Variegated cultivar 'Wolf's Eye' is tops though. It needs a little shade.
     
  10. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks, D.F., I hadn't heard about dwarf pink. I agree with you about 'Wolf Eyes'. I have it in our woods - its like a beacon there. According to the study referenced above, this variety is quite suseptible to anthracnose. Either I've been lucky or maybe this disease is not as threatening as it once was. The variety 'Milky Way' is considered highly resistant, however, as noted in Michael Dirr's wonderful "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants", this is not a true cultivar, but rather, a group of fifteen or so different individual plants classified under one name.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Original distribution was 15 seedlings, name 'Milky Way' embraces seedlings of those as well. So it could probably be called Milky Way Group by those so inclined.
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ron, any more you can add to the Satomi and
    anthracnose? I know you won't believe me but
    back in 1985 we had seven forms come into
    the nursery, a white, red, pink, and variegated
    forms of each and a gold on green variegated
    white flower. All of them were Satomi and
    were experimental plants and no, they did not
    come from Rutgers. Our job was to grow
    them on and propagate them and send the
    grafted offspring back to whom we got ours
    from. We planted the originals in the ground.

    I have not kept up on them as they may all have
    names now but when they all came in as Satomi
    red, Satomi pink, Satomi white, etc. they all had
    varying amounts of powdery mildew. The pinks
    were loaded with it, much more so than the others.
    We grafted them onto our seedlings and shipped
    them back to the source four years later.

    I am still not sure the East Coast form of anthracnose
    is the same form I've seen in Oregon on Dogwoods
    as we could clean up the Dogwoods in Oregon with
    some pruning off the deadened tips, using ammonium
    sulfate as a fertilizer and Copper based fungicide
    sprays after a first attack. I am not sure the East
    Coast people can get the residual preventative from
    the Copper sprays that we got in Oregon which has
    confused me about the East Coast form of Dogwood
    anthracnose.

    Below is what I've seen in Oregon for symptoms
    but not here on our native nuttallii.


    Dogwood Anthracnose


    Jim
     
  13. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I recently read the patent information for Cornus kousa 'Schmred' (Hearthrob TM) PP9283, which was described as a chance seedling that occurred at Don Schmidt Nursery, Boring, Oregon. Given the small number of pink bracted varieties in commerce and the genetic testing referenced above, wouldn't it seem likely that this could be a seedling of 'Satomi'?

    'Miss Satomi', one of the first named pink kousa varieties was selected & introduced by Akira Shibamichi of Japan.

    Patent info for the cultivar 'Beni Fuji' PP8676 indicates it was a selected seedling in 1970 from a large volume of seed collected from a wild population of trees growing on the S.E. slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan. Interestingly, the habit is described as "a mature tree shape of upright to narrow upright shape, comparable to 'Miss Satomi'". I mention this because the variety 'Schmred' (above) is usually described as having a broad, spreading habit.

    C. kousa 'Ruby Slippers' was selected by Well's Nursery in Mount Vernon, WA ( I believe in the late 1970's as chance seedling "# 7") for vigor, disease resistance, and color. Released in about 1993. The color of the bracts Begins as a two-toned white & pink, later becoming darker as the tree matures.http://www.sunset.com/sunset/Premium/Garden/1997/06-Jun/GG0697/Dogwood0697.html

    Elwin Orton identifies the parentage of Cornus x 'Rutgan' PP7207 ('Stellar Pink') as Cornus kousa Hanse x Cornus florida 'Sweetwater'.

    The variegated, pink-bracted variety referred in a previous post may be the same as, or similar to Cornus kousa 'Aktuki', a 2004 Wayside Gardens introduction (origin Japan) - possibly derived from a seedling or sport of 'Satomi'.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2006
  14. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Heritage Nursery (liner nursery) in Oregon has sold Cornus kousa from Satomi seed in the past, for almost double the price of their strait kousa seedlings. I think that the pink does come through pretty strongly. I've seen 'Satomi' seedlings field grown; many of them bloomed in good, deep shades of pink. There were also, of course, those that bloomed pale pink and some almost white.
     
  15. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Perhaps, then, the variety 'Satomi'/'Rosabella' should be thought of as a type or strain, rather than a clonal variety - much the same as 'Milky Way'. ?
     
  16. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Just thought I'd post these pictures taken today of several of my trees in bloom - blooms not completely full or fully colored. These were sold to me as 1. 'Satomi', 2.'Schmred', 3.'Ruby Slippers', but who knows what they actually are. I'm pretty sure about 'Ruby Slippers', as I purchased it from the originating nursery. 'Satomi' & 'Schmred'/Heart Throb growing in my garden look very similar, but I think I see some subtle differences.

    C. kousa 'Satomi'.jpg

    C. kousa ' Schmred'.jpg

    C. kousa 'Ruby Slippers'.jpg
     
  17. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    When we refer to cultivars of most any plant and we
    want to know how they are different from one another,
    most of the time the only way for us to know if they
    are the same, similar or are indeed different is for us
    to grow them on for ourselves and see these plants
    everyday for several years. Now, as time passes by
    you can fill us in on what you are seeing from your
    Kousa Dogwoods.

    Looks like you have done very well with your pink
    Kousa selections, good going!

    Jim
     
  18. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Jim,

    I took a couple more photos today of C. kousa 'Fireworks' that I bought from Pacific Propagators in McMinnville. So far, this also closely resembles 'Schmred' in flower & growth habit (shown in photo as larger tree). Both exhibit a very lateral branching pattern.


    'Fireworks' 1.jpg

    'Fireworks' 2.jpg

    Heart Throb Abloom.jpg
     

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