Tree following: October 2019

Cornus kousa: flowering dogwood in Penlee Park, Penzance

We’ve had lots of rain and wind in Penzance, but there has been some sunshine now and then.

The little Strawberry Tree (Cornus kousa) is still in full leaf, and is covered with fruit.

It was a very windy day, and difficult to get anything in focus. More of the leaves have darkened margins now.

A few leaves are turning golden.

One fruit is on the ground, half eaten. I am surprised more aren’t eaten, by birds or squirrels, especially as the branches are so low down.

The fruits have grown larger this month.

This is about 3cms across

This fruit was a darker pink in real life.

When cut open, there are seeds inside, surrounded by soft flesh. There are four seeds – does that relate to the four bracts of the flowers? Wish I knew more botany.

The flesh has a creamy texture, and tastes slightly sweet, but bland, like a very over-ripe mushy tomato. There’s no acidity to make it more interesting.

In Asia, the fruits are eaten fresh, or made into wine. They also have a role in Chinese medicine, apparently, though it is usually the leaves and bark which are used.

The fruits are drupes, so all the segments would have been tiny flowersthat merged into one another to form the fruit.

Here is a related dogwood fruit, that of Cornus hongkongenis for sale in the market of Hunan, China.

In the park, you can see where the nearby dried-up grassy plant (that looked like Dougal the dog from The Magic Roundabout) has been taken out and the patch reseeded with grass.

This is what the area looked like in September 2019

Beside the granite post under the large palm tree, there’s a flash of vivid yellow.

A small creeping buttercup plant is still flowering.

It’s like a promise of spring, when there will be masses of bright yellow celandines in the park.

Thanks to The Squirrel Basket, who hosts Tree Following. You can find more here:

https://squirrelbasket.wordpress.com/tree-following/

9 thoughts on “Tree following: October 2019

  1. Great post! The first photo looks like it could be the middle of summer!

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    1. Thanks! it was taken on second October, so the last gasp of summer, I reckon.

      Like

  2. Shame about Dougal, though I cam see why they did it. Did you go to China to get that picture? That’s serious dedication.

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    1. Where the tree goes, there I follow! (Not really, afraid I ripped it off from t’internet. Don’t tell anyone.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That was all very fascinating!
    It was all new to me, although I have often seen this kind of Cornus in flower but not fruit.
    And I chuckled at the Dougal reference 🙂
    All the best.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Pat. It’s all thanks to you, you know, introducing me to the pleasures of tree following. I am already looking round for next year’s tree!

      Like

  4. Would love to try the fruit. Sadly we don’t have them where I live.

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    1. I was disappointed by the flavour, to be honest, very bland. But they look very pretty on the tree.

      Like

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