This post is about Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit. We cover some basic information on the kousa dogwood followed by how to harvest the fruit.
The Cornus Kousa (Benthamidia kousa) also known as Kousa Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood and Chinese Dogwood, is native to Japan, Korea, and China arriving in the United States around 1875. The Kousa Dogwood is a deciduous tree that survives well in USDA zones 5-8 and is self fertile. Starting in late August and lasting until late October the Kousa Dogwood fruit ripens.
The fruit is about the size of a quarter in diameter and looks like an over-sized raspberry in both shape and color. The skin of the fruit is green/yellow when unripe. It turns raspberry red as it ripens. Unripe fruit is firm when you squeeze it in your fingertips, but becomes very soft as it ripens.
The outer red skin of the fruit is very mealy/gritty and is a bit astringent. Inside the red skin is an amber colored pulp with a custard consistency. Within the center are 8 to 12 seeds the size of apple seeds.
Harvesting the Fruit
It is time to start harvesting the fruit when it turns pink and is a little soft. This will usually start happening in late August and will last into the fall. There is usually a long harvest season as some ripen early and some will not ripen until weeks later.
When the fruit is ripe as described above, you can pull it off of the tree. They can also be harvested off of the ground when they fall. Just make sure you wash them good if they are harvested from the ground.
Click the highlighted link for a recipe for Cornus Kousa Dogwood Jam.
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