This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kousa Dogwood

 I know it's been many years since I wrote anything in this Blog. What can I say, sometimes Life gets in the way of Living. I also have felt I haven't had much new to say, thought I still sometimes teach about and still use Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, I have not been spending too much time in front of the computer writing like I used to. Things change in life, and I am no different than most everyone else. The responsibilities of work, home and life in general often get in the way of what you want to do. Oh, the tangled web we weave!

Alright, enough about that, lets get down to it. I have had and known about Kousa Dogwood ( also called Korean. Japanese,and other names) for a long time. I have always admired it's beauty when in flower for a long time in my life. I have two Kousa on my property and have always thought the Fruits were very cool looking. With all my interest in Wild foods, I don't know why it never occurred to me that the Fruits might be edible or useful in some way. I don't remember when it happened, but I a couple of years ago I came across an article on the Kousa Dogwood and learned the Fruits were edible. My trees just happen to be in fruit at the time so I went out to test them, and boy were they good!

Of course I was very exited to learn of a new Edible on my property but also wondered why it took so long to learn this in my life. I have always thought of Kousa as an ornamental not a wild plant and generally I stay away from ornamental's. Many ornamental's are toxic and from foreign lands not to mention often come from a nursery and are heavily sprayed and toxic fertilized to keep them looking their best so people will buy them. Real Wild plants have always been my thing. I guess thats not really fair, it's not the plants fault for being an ornamental from a foreign land. A plant is a plant is a plant. Maybe I've learned a lesson, maybe not, but I will be more open to such discoveries in the future.

Kousa Dogwood in Bloom

 Once the flowers are fertilized, the fruits begin to grow. The immature fruits are green in color but turn yellow then red/orange when ripe.

Close up of Fruits at different stages of ripeness

The Fruit are a pretty orange color inside. Some of the Fruit have no seeds in them but there can be up to four (the most I have found) rock hard seeds the size of a tiny pea inside. You need to be careful biting into them as they can do damage to a tooth if not careful. I think the Fruits are delicious and I look forward to them every year. They are in fruit right now so this is the time of the year you can expect them to be ripe.

I decided to try to make something with the Fruit so I collected a bunch and brought them inside and de-stemmed them. My plan was to put them through a hand cranked food mill to separate the seeds but couldn't find mine so I put them in a food processor and pulsed a couple of time till the Fruit were slightly pureed but the seeds were still intact. I put the mush in a strainer and pushed the pulp through with a rubber spatula. this worked really well and all the seeds and the skin were filtered out and all I was left with was a beautiful orange pulp. I decided to make muffins so I took some rice flour, eggs and a touch of vanilla and mixed them into a batter and baked them till done.

They came out an orange color and were pretty good for a first try. You can use these fruits to make anything you would make with any other Fruit. Don't be afraid to try something new and have fun!


  1. Yum!! I want to learn to make muffins....

  2. These fruits are so delicious and I have eaten many until I came across a little white worm in one. That, unfortunately, made me lose my appetite for them. I hope to get over that though. Do you know of the seeds are safe to swallow?

    1. Most seeds are safe to swallow if you don't chew them. Most seeds will stay intact through your digestive system if you don't chew them. Acctually some seeds won't sprout unless they have passed through an animals system.

    2. PS. The Larva adds protien and fat!