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Kousa / Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

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SEEDS (10pcs/bag)

Common name: Kousa Dogwood, Chinese Dogwood, Korean Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood
Scientific name:
Cornus kousa
Family: Cornaceae

Plant history & use:

Dogwood is a densely grown small tree that originates from Northeast Asia. In spring, it produces numerous bright white flowers that light up shaded areas in the garden. At the end of summer, the tree forms peculiar pink-red edible fruits of 2-3 cm in diameter.

These fruits can be used to make jam or bake a pie. In Asia, you make juice from the berries as well as ferment them into wine.

The bark on thicker stems flakes and creates a beautiful pattern of varied colors.

The leaves on the tree also turn into a beautiful bright red/orange color in autumn.

Cultivation:

Dogwood is a deciduous tree that grows well in all of Europe. The tree is relatively long-lived (50-150 years) and is very cold resistant.

Unlike many plants, dogwood thrives well in shaded locations. It should also preferably be protected from the wind. If the tree is in direct sun, the tree tends to produce increased amounts of fruit, but of a smaller size.

An optimal growing spot for the dogwood is under one or several tall deciduous trees - which provide shade and add organic matter to the soil - surrounded by additional vegetation in different (agroforestry) layers. This contributes to creating a moist, wind-sheltered and semi-shaded environment in which the dogwood thrives best. The tree's luminous flowers can also light up an otherwise shaded "grove". The dogwood has low maintenance requirements and produces large recurring harvests every year.

For the reasons mentioned above, the dogwood is an excellent tree to have in a woodland garden / food forest. If you don't have such conditions on your cultivation area, a location with morning sun and afternoon shade also works well for creating a similar environment.

 

Sowing:

The dogwood seeds are relatively slow-germinated.

The seeds germinate best if given a cold period of 3-4 months. But first, the seeds should be soaked in warm water for 1-2 days.

After soaking, mix the seeds with a handful of sand/peat/sowing soil and put in a plastic bag in the fridge for the above period. Check periodically if any seeds have germinated in the bag (if that's the case, sow them already). When the cold period is finished, carefully spread the contents of the bag on top of soil in a pot. With this method, germination can take a couple of months.

Alternatively, sow outdoors in autumn and protect the seed from birds or other animals that might disturb the seed. With this method, the seeds should germinate in the spring.

Characteristics:

Lifespan: Perennial
Location: Shade/Semi-shade
Height: 1-3 m
Germination time: 1-12 months
USDA Zone: 5-8