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Common name: Kousa Dogwood
Characteristics: Deciduous tree or shrub 8-12 m
Seeds per packet: 12
An extremely showy tree when in flower during spring, what appear to be four white petals are actually four spreading bracts below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers.
Edible pink to red sweet berries 2–3cm in diameter can also be used for making wine.
Autumn foliage turns a deep reddish purple in cooler climates. Leaves are simple and opposite 4-10 cm long.
Typically a small deciduous tree 8–12 m (26–39 ft) high that can also be pruned and grown as a shrub.
Native to Korea, much of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan and the Ryukyu Islands and is widely cultivated as an ornamental in North America where it has naturalised in areas.
Prefers moist soil but adapts to a range of soils and locations. Tolerates wet soils.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 20-22°C (68-71°F) for this species.
Cold stratification is recommended.
Cold treatment may not be critical for germination to occur in colder regions but should give increased germination rates.
This can be replicated by cold stratification in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. Alternatively over wintering in the garden in cold climates will assist germination.
General note: Seeds of many plant species are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.