Wednesday, 17th July 2017
I believe I’ve found out what this little tree is. It’s a Japanese Strawberry Tree, Cornus kousa. This is a member of the flowering dogwoods.
It’s other names are kousa, or Szechuan strawberry, according to the Royal Horticultural Society website, and it comes from China, Japan and Korea. Here’s what it says:
” C. kousa is a small bushy tree to 7m tall, with oval leaves turning reddish-purple in autumn, and tight clusters of small white flowers surrounded by four large oval cream bracts and followed by strawberry-like deep pink fruit clusters.”
So what I thought are petals are actually bracts, and the “strawberry” in the centre is the flower, or a ball of tightly packed florets.
It is this which will develop into the strawberry-like fruits later this year.
The fruits look similar to those of the European Strawberry Tree, arbutus unedo, but they aren’t related; the flowers are quite different, and the fruit hangs down in clumps.
The leaves are longer and more glossy, too. My strawberry tree has bluntly rounded leaves.
Young leaves have a dark reddish colouring on them.
More about where I found this charming tree next time. It’s a long way from Szechuan!