Herb: Japanese Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus kousa chinensis

Synonyms: Dendrobenthamia japonica

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Edible parts of Japanese Dogwood:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet and juicy, it is very nice in small quantities. Very seedy. The skin is rather tough and unpleasant, but the pulp is delicious with a custard-like texture. This fruit gained very high marks from a group of 7 people in a fruit-tasting visit to various gardens. The fruit is about 2cm in diameter. Young leaves - cooked.

Description of the plant:


10 m
(33 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Thickets, 1200 - 2200 metres.

Other uses of Japanese Dogwood:

Wood - very hard and heavy. Used for mallets etc.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more. 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. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months.

Cultivation of Japanese Dogwood:

Thickets, 1200 - 2200 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Cornus kousa chinensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.