This small tree (seldom more than 25 feet tall) has quite spectacular bracts surrounding tiny fertile flowers and takes over just about the time the last of our native dogwoods finishes blooming. The species has been widely planted in recent years because it seems immune to the anthracnose currently threatening cornus florida.
Its large blooms are, I have to admit, quite gorgeous and most welcome at a time when few other trees are flowering. (Apologies for a blurry shot taken during a rain shower.)
Alas, this Asian beauty has a downside. While its North American cousin hosts some 117 species of moths and butterflies, none of our insects can eat kousa, and its fruits are too large to be eaten by any of our migrating songbirds. In its native regions, monkeys feast on the berries, but the Mid-Ohio Valley has a dearth of non-human primates.
I have, however, read, that the fruits are tasty to humans and are a good smoothie ingredient. This summer may bring some culinary experimentation.