Wonderful disease resistant dogwood that blooms creamy white turning pink, 3 weeks after native dogwoods do, in June and last for at least 4 weeks. Round pink-orange fruits hang below branches in summer and leaves turn a brilliant orange red in autumn. Milky Way is noted for its more floriferous habit and its outstanding production of fruit.
The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m tall, native to eastern Asia. Like most dogwoods, it has opposite, simple leaves, which are 4–10 cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four petaled white flowers are actually bracts spread open below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out. The Kousa Dogwood is sometimes also called Chinese Dogwood, Korean Dogwood, or Japanese Dogwood.
The kousa dogwood can be distinguished from the closely related Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America by its more upright habit, flowering about a month later, and having pointed rather than rounded flower bracts.
The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2–3 cm diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree surpass 4 cm. Edible, it is a sweet and delicious addition to the tree's ornamental value. The fruit is sometimes used for making wine.
It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, unlike Flowering Dogwood, which is very susceptible and often killed by it; for this reason, Kousa Dogwood is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease. A number of hybrids between Kousa Dogwood and Flowering Dogwood have also been selected for their disease resistance and good flower appearance.