I’m pictured above with Cornus kousa, a tree that is native to Japan, China and Korea. The fruits are edible, creamy and mildly sweet. They have seeds inside them, but the flesh is creamy and tastes like lychee. The fruits look like compound tetrahedrons. The pink-orange coloring reminds me of rainbow sherbet.
The fruits of the native Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, are said to be less tasty, though I haven’t come across them yet myself. The bark can be boiled to make a black dye, the leaves can be dried and smoked, the wood can be used for bow and arrow material, and a decoction of the bark works as a laxative. I recognize Pacific Dogwood by its beautiful flowers.
I’ve seen a few Cornus kousa dogwood planted in parking lots around northeast Portland, such as at the Wells Fargo Bank on NE MLK Ave, and along city streets, such as by the retail shops at NE 30th & Killingsworth. Even if you’re not in Portland, where have you seen dogwoods?
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