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Cornus kousa - Buerger. ex Hance.                
                 
Common Name Japanese Dogwood
Family Cornaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and scrub in the mountains of Sichuan[109]. Valleys, shaded slopes, by streams and roadsides, in mixed, sparse, and dense woods at elevations of 400 - 2200 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Cornus kousa is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cornus kousa Japanese Dogwood


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Cornus kousa Japanese Dogwood
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[61, 177]. Sweet and juicy[11, 183], it is very nice in small quantities[K]. Very seedy[105]. The skin is rather tough and unpleasant, but the pulp is delicious with a custard-like texture, it is one of our favourite late summer fruits[K]. The fruit is about 2cm in diameter[200]. Young leaves - cooked[105, 177, 183].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Wood.

Wood - very hard and heavy. Used for mallets etc[151].
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility, from acid to slightly alkaline but dislikes shallow chalky soils[184, 188]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a rich well-drained loamy soil and a position that is at least partially sunny[11]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -20°c[184]. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[182]. Plants are slow-growing when young, they speed up somewhat after a few years but then soon slow down again[202]. The sub-species of C. kousa chinensis grows more freely, flowering and fruiting better in Britain though it barely differs in appearance from the species[11]. This species has been known to hybridize with C. capitata[182]. The cultivar 'Norman Hadden' could be such a hybrid[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[80, 113]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[80, 164]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[164]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[80, 164]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[164]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame[188]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage[78]. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months[78].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Buerger. ex Hance.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200266
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[109]Wilson. E. H. Plantae Wilsonae.
Details of the palnts collected by the plant collector E. H. Wilson on his travels in China. Gives some habitats. Not for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[151]Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N. Corean Flora.
A very small handbook, it does give a little bit of information on Korean plants.
[164]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Ray Norton Sat Jun 25 15:21:20 2005
Can you assist with information relating to possible problems with lack of flower i.e.age before flowering or a physiological condition???
Elizabeth H.
Art Sekunda Fri Jun 22 2007
Kousa tree has stoped flouring. How do you fix the problem?
Elizabeth H.
John Simpson Tue Jul 17 2007
I planted a cornus kousa chinnensis about 4 weeks ago. It has begun to shed its leaves. I had removed an old Viburnum because it suffered from leaf beetle, dug over the soil and added farmyard manure and soil improver. I planted a clematis and a hydrangea at the same time as I planted the dogwood. These are doing well. The dogwood is in part sun with shading at the back from a neighbour's leylandii hedge. I have ensured it has been well-watered. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. John.
Elizabeth H.
Pam Pierce Sat Oct 4 2008
I have a japanese dogwood in my yard. I don't know what varity it is. It has leaves in the spring. It buds out but never blooms. At the moment it has no leaves at all. Actually it looks dead. The tree has been planted for 5 years now. What can I do to help it?
Elizabeth H.
Tue Oct 21 2008
i reckomend plenty of bark mulch to keep soil moist.. make sure mulch not touching trunk or stems
Elizabeth H.
Connie Lazarowicvh Sun Oct 18 2009
My cornus kousa produced so much fruit that it's become a nuisance. There are so many overripe pods dropping on the ground and they are attracting rodents. How can I limit the amount of fruit the trees produce?
Elizabeth H.
david Fri Oct 23 2009
Removing flowers is the only way i can think of to reduce the number of fruit since flowers of course become fruit) this also usually means the few remaining fruit will be larger
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