Unidentified red fruit tree growing in Maine, USA, and in VA.

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Chris Green, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    A contact of mine took a photo of this unidentified fruit tree (or?) growing in Maine. It apparently also grows in Virginia. It lookks somewhat like a crab apple, but the fruit (?) has circles on the skin with a dot at the center of the circle.

    Does anyone recognize this one as a fruit, or is it possible infected by something?

    Photo by Nadine Zdanovich, and posted on Facebook Oct. 5th, 2014.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202900035806728&set=a.4282398503004.2151182.1377585708&type=1&theater
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Oh, I didn't realize that.
    Here's part of the photo I linked to. Let's see if it uploads this time.

    After I posted this question, we found out it is very likely a Japanese- or Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kousa_Dogwood

    Thanks,

    Chris Green.
     

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  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, Cornus kousa. Edible fruit, can be delicious.
     
  5. Chris Green

    Chris Green Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation. :-)
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm not sure why I just read this posting last week, but it encouraged me to taste the fruit. You're right - it was very tasty, juicy and not mealy as I had expected, and only two seeds, not one seed for each bump on the surface. It reminded me of guava, which I never really liked, but maybe that's growing on me.
     
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  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Sounds interesting. I wouldn't mind trying myself. Is there any possibility that something else could be mistaken for this fruit?

    @wcutler: Where in Vancouver did you manage to find some?
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    If you make sure the opposite leaves are like dogwood (you can try folding them cross-wise and then gently pulling the halves apart to see if there are strings holding them together), and the compound red fruits have all those sort-of 5- or 6-sided bumpy sections, I don't think there's anything else like that. You want ones that are starting to go dark, definitely past pink, with soft fruits.

    [Edited] I think this statement is wrong, must have been C. kousa:
    The Vancouver Trees App | UBC Botanical Garden has locations.
    [Edited]
    My local C. nuttallii location is the West End Community Centre. There are C. kousa in QE Park and VanDusen, and at the Starbucks entrance to the Westin Bayshore.
    Cornus mas fruits are very different-looking, shiny and smooth, and they're good too, not as sweet, though. I've mostly eaten those at UBCBG and at the bike path along the rhody garden in Stanley Park.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Be careful: not all Cornus species have edible fruit. Some are toxic, e.g. Cornus florida, Cornus sanguinea. I'm not sure about Cornus nuttallii, but it is closely related to C. florida, so don't rely on it being safe. Edible ones include Cornus kousa (and its close relatives from Asia), and Cornus mas.

    Some botanists split Cornus into several genera; probably a good idea as the various groups are very distinct in flowers and fruit, but it has (oddly) never caught on.
    • Cornus (sensu stricto) includes Cornus mas and its close relatives (e.g. Cornus chinensis).
    • Benthamidia includes Cornus florida and Cornus nuttallii; perhaps best considered not edible.
    • Dendrobenthamia includes Cornus capitata, Cornus kousa and Cornus hongkongensis, etc.; as far as I know, all edible.
    • Swida includes Cornus sanguinea and many other species; as far as I know, none edible.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Then would it be safe to say that fruits that look like those in the picture, globular with bumps, are safe to eat?

    I ate a couple taken from trees that appeared to be dwarf in nature; the fruit was rather insipid but may have had some sweetness.
     
  11. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper, I'm glad I didn't poison us both. It seems I must have eaten Cornus kousa, now that understand what the C. nuttallii fruits look like. It's about time I learned that. I even posted some for ID, but I thought the globes with the bumpy sections expanded into separate fruits.

    I really don't understand the fruits. On some pages they are called drupes, on other pages berries. Nothing says that some dogwood fruits are one and some the other, but is it that C. kousa fruit are drupes, with two seeds, and C. nuttallii fruit are berries, with, as Wikipedia says, 50-100 seeds?
     
  12. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Well with the ones I had, I simply break away the skin with my fingers exposing the mushy pulp inside which typically contains 5-6 yellow seeds. After tasting a few more I'll say they are somewhat sweet.
     
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  13. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Fruits in general are difficult to understand.

    For example, I quote: strawberries and raspberries aren’t berries, but melons, lemons and cucumbers are. Some more examples are avocados, bananas, blueberries and grapes. Berry is a simple fleshy fruit produced by a single ovary.


    Apples and pears are pomes, a specific type of accessory fruit. Strawberries are accessory fruits, too, although of different type. They come from a part of the flower besides the ovary.

    Raspberries are
    aggregate fruits. This means that they come from single flowers that have multiple carpels.

    Mangos, olives, cherries and peaches are drupes. Drupes, also known as stone fruits, are composed of outer skin, flesh and a hard seed in the center. Like all simple fruits, they come from the ovary of a single flower.


    Confusing? See Pomes and Berries and Drupes, Oh My!

    Here is more explanation: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/Geneve/teaching/PLS 220/FruittypesFleshy.pdf

    Fruit Types and Classification of Fruits
     
  14. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Sundrop. All good references!

    I'm still failing the class. The second reference says "Dogwood fruit is a drupe" and then talks about Flowering Dogwood, which is Cornus florida, which has all those separate red things. The first reference says that the terms are not mutually exclusive, so are C. florida and C. nuttallii fruits aggregate drupes? Like raspberries, with multiple carpels. Whereas C. kousa are simple drupes, with some seeds inside a single fruit.

    Which would be to say not to eat the dogwoods with the aggregate fruits?
    And don't eat the Swida group ones either.
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Well, I should have read the Vancouver Trees App | UBC Botanical Garden. That says Cornus florida and C. nuttallii fruits are drupes in tight clusters; Cornus kousa fruits are true berries.
     
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