October 02, 2011

Maybe you do need a scoop of vanilla ice cream...

Fresh Toronto Cornus kousa fruits in the raw!

As my mama used to say, "life's not a bowl of cherries" or a Chinese variation like "you can't always expect to eat the last haw gow." Life's not always smooth and plentiful but occasionally you do and should enjoy nature's bounty. The warty looking fruit in the bowl are some ripe Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) berries I picked surreptiously as the shrubs were, technically, on private property. I find plant junkies like myself often play fast and loose with concepts like trespassing and vandalism. I even had a reply ready if someone stopped and asked me what I was doing: helping myself to the urban harvest!

Ripe cornus kousa chinese dogwood fruit in a bowl with spoon by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Mmmm, but what about those warts?

Now, I wasn't going to eat them although they are edible in a quasi custardy-mealy way.  (Ice cream would go a long way.)  I didn't collect them for a reason as transient as consumption but rather to germinate the seeds. After mashing the pulpy fruits in my fingers, extracting the seeds and scrubbing off the pulp, I planted them in small pots so they can stratify over winter in the garage. According to a trusted source, C. kousa seeds are relatively easy to germinate and don't go through double dormancy like the viburnums I try to propagate via seeds. I'll let you know next spring how things progress.


  1. Anonymous2.10.11

    What an interesting fruit. Great colour. Good luck...I hope to read about your success next spring. Now I'm off to have a bowl of ice cream.....

  2. The fruit is a nice bonus, beautiful flowers on a mid-sized tree with decent fall colour. I highly recommend C. kousa!