[NAFEX] Improving Cornus spp. as a food crop

bill dality namtoo at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 28 15:04:31 EST 2007

  Has anyone heard of the existence of interspecies hybrids within the cornus genus?
  Anyone have any experience with graft compatibility between cornus species?
  How about chromosome numbers?
  Seems to be a lot of variation in fruit size and taste ,and therefore room for selection for fruit size and fruit quality in those cornus species wch produce edible fruit.
  Does anyone have a selection of Cornus kousa wch produces really good-tasting fruit ..such as "Milky Way" --said to have the flavor of papaya". 
          From:  "M Stanton" <stanton.  @osu.edu>      To:  "'bill dality'" <namtoo at yahoo.com>    Subject:  RE: Cornus spp.    Date:  Wed, 2 Nov 2005 10:12:21 -0500          Hi Bill,
  We are doing chemical analysis of the fruit and are taking samples of both Cornus mas and C. officinalis.
  The Chinese use the fruit medicinally; much breeding and selection has been done in Asia both for ornamental and medicinal purposes.
    -----Original Message-----
From: bill dality [mailto:namtoo at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 1:08 PM
To: stanton.   @osu.edu
Subject: Cornus spp.

      Michele Stanton
  Sounds like this species (cornus officinalis) is closely related to cornus mas.
   Is it native to Japan?
  Perhaps the Japanese have done some breeding and selection work with it? 
  Are you interested in it's fruit or as an ornamental?
  Are you able to comment on the questions in the note below ?

M Stanton <stanton.   @osu.edu> wrote: 
    Does anyone grow the Japanese Cornel, or cornus officinalis?
I would like to correspond off-list with anyone who is familiar with this
and can help distinguish its fruit from that of its cousin, cornus mas.

Michele Stanton, M.S.
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
212 Williams Hall
The Ohio State University
Wooster, Ohio 44691

          Date:  Fri, 16 Sep 2005 09:59:14 -0700 (PDT)    From:  "bill dality" <namtoo at yahoo.com>      Subject:  Cornus mas and cornus kousa    To:  CoolFruit at yahoogroups.com      
    Does anyone know if these two species (i.e. cornus kousa and cornus mas) are graft compatible?
  Do they have different chromosome numbers?
    cornus kousa(japanese dogwood). All the one's I've tasted are rather bland and insipid tasting,but perhaps in it's native country it has been bred and selected for fruit quality and not just as an ornamental.
  Anyone with contacts in Japan?


          Date:  Thu, 15 Sep 2005 09:50:00 -0700 (PDT)    From:  "bill dality" <namtoo at yahoo.com>      Subject:  Re: germplasm from Japan    To:  mg    @dslextreme.com                    Hi Gwen,

   Hope all is well!

           Just thought I'd touch base with you again.
     Wondering if you could keep an eye open for any good-tasting selections of 

  cornus kousa(japanese dogwood). All the one's I've tasted are rather bland and insipid tasting,but perhaps in it's native country it has been bred and selected for food production and not just as an ornamental.

John S <swim_at_svc at yahoo.com> wrote:
  My mas and kousa bloom far apart, so you would be talking about storing pollen if you wanted to try crossing them.  Don't know if it's ever been tried.

Diane Whitehead <voltaire at islandnet.com> wrote:
  The evergreen one is probably Cornus capitata. I haven't tried eating 
its fruit. Cornucopia says is sweetish mingled with a slight bitter 
taste and is eaten or made into preserves in India.

I was surprised to see the differences in about a dozen Cornus kousa 
at our nearest rec centre. The flowers were all different sizes and 
shapes, and the fruits vary too. The flowers and fruits were all 
smaller than those on my 40 year old tree. I think there might have 
been a big gap when the trees were not readily available locally, and 
it seems that seedlings are being sold now. I haven't sampled any of 
the rec centre's fruit - maybe I should.

Cornucopia doesn't mention the taste of Big Apple's fruit, but says 
Milky Way has "somewhat the flavor of papaya". So there is something 
to aim for.

I wonder about crosses with mas? Has anybody tried?

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8, cool Mediterranean climate
mild rainy winters, mild dry summers

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