A close up of the Samaritan Dogwood's creamy white, four petaled flowers against the green and white variegated foliage
The Samaritan Dogwood in a black nursery pot, covered in the green and white variegated foliage against a white background
A close up of the Samaritan Dogwood's creamy white, four petaled flowers against the green and white variegated foliage
The Samaritan Dogwood in a black nursery pot, covered in the green and white variegated foliage against a white background

Samaritan® Variegated Japanese Dogwood

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Cornus kousa 'Samzam'

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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-7
  • Mature Height: 20-25' tall
  • Mature Width: 15-20' wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Spacing: 15-20' apart

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. We provide this plant profile for reference only. 

See below for alternative selections for purchase and inspiration!

Why the Samaritan® Variegated Japanese Dogwood?

Samaritan® Variegated Kousa Dogwood will beautify your landscape year-round. In late spring, your Samaritan® Kousa Dogwood will erupt in a shower of star-shaped white flowers, almost hiding the striking green and white variegated leaves. Summer brings interesting, cherry-sized red fruits, free for the snacking—they taste like papaya! In autumn, you’ll be treated to a show of purple and pink fall foliage, and in winter, the exfoliating patchwork bark takes center stage. There’s simply no “off-season”with this eager-to-please tree!

Japanese “Kousa” Dogwoods made their debut in America in the 1870s, after the U.S. had strong-armed Japan into at last opening its trade borders (after more than 200 years of isolationism). In 1907, famous plant explorer E.H. Wilson journeyed to China on behalf of the Arnold Arboretum and discovered another population of Kousas growing there.  Samaritan® is a descendant of that Chinese strain of Kousa Dogwoods. This variegated selection was developed recently at Lake County Nursery (you’ll see that name on a lot of popular trees!) of Perry, Ohio.

How to use in the landscape?

Now this is one good Samaritan! Plant it in a prominent place near your front door or back patio, so you won’t miss a moment of this flashy small tree’s progression through the seasons. A beautifully variegated Japanese Dogwood that is disease resistant. Creamy-white variegated foliage covers this tree. White flower bracts appear in spring, later followed by red fleshy fruit and reddish-purple foliage in fall. This awesome Dogwood has a vase-shaped habit and is relatively care-free. You just can't go wrong!

Growth Facts

    Hardiness Zone: 5-7

    Mature Height: 20-25' tall

    Mature Width: 15-20' wide

    Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade

    Spacing: 15-20' apart

How To Plant

Samaritan® Variegated Kousa Dogwood is an uncommon tree, which is surprising, given how easy it is to please and how much it has to offer. This naturally disease-resistant tree enjoys a site in part shade and wants regular irrigation but no “wet feet". It has a preference for acid soils, so if rhododendrons and azaleas grow well in your area, this is definitely the tree for you (though it’s adaptable to other situations, too).

How To Water

Water weekly, or better yet, use the Bower & Branch® Water Element to deliver just the right amount of moisture to your tree throughout the growing season.

How To Fertilize

Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.

How To Prune

As your tree grows, you’ll probably want to remove the lowermost branches to show off that amazing jigsaw-puzzle bark! Pruning is best done shortly after the flowers are spent.

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 5-7


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