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Tree following: 7th August

Flowering dogwood in Penlee Park, Penzance

The white and pink bracts, which look like flower petals, have all fallen now, in early August.

The fruit is beginning to develop, held on stalks above the branches.

I was a little unsure about whether this flowering dogwood is a Cornus florida, or Cornus kousa (variously Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Szechuan Flowering Dogwood) .

It is probably an oriental type, as the flower bracts were showing in June and July, and C. florida is a month or so earlier. But this dogwood has quite blunt rounded bracts, unlike the pointed bracts I have seen when trying to find out what variety it is. Perhaps a different cultivar, or a cross.

Cornus florida
The dogwood in Penlee Park

Another characteristic of Cornus kousa is that the bark peels off showing the layers underneath, like this.

But the tree in the park has smooth bark. Perhaps it is too young yet to shed its bark? It still has the covering round the base from when it was planted.

Whatever it is, it is certainly an attractive little tree, graceful and interesting.

The young leaves and fruit stalks are adding a little colour:

While there are still some young leaves developing, some of the older ones have been getting battered by the wind and are beginning to show signs of damage.

This rather blurry photo shows the unripe compound berry. It is an aggregate fruit, like a raspberry or blackberry, formed from several ovaries in a single flower, or possibly several flowers joined together. I’ll be looking out for the flowers next spring to see if I can figure out which.

Here’s the inside of the fruit:

Another test is whether the fruit are juicy and good to eat (C . kousa) or bitter and inedible (C florida). Dare I try the fruit later in the season? You’ll have to wait and see!

Thanks to Squirrelbasket, who introduced me to the pleasures of following trees on her blog: ttps://

3 thoughts on “Tree following: 7th August

  1. All very interesting!
    There is plenty going on with your dogwood. The fruits are fascinating and I like the red-tinged leaves.
    I look forward to your tasting the fruit later in the year.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂


  2. Thanks for introducing me to the pleasures of tree following! I love being able to see posts about trees and plants from around the world, Sweden, USA, Western Isles – and Cardiff of course.
    As for tasting the fruits of the Cornus: well, it’ll depend on if there are any park gardeners around!


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