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Kousa Dogwood Fruit {Foraged Edible}

kousa dogwood tree Last week, we walked the dogs past this house and this tree for the thousandth time when I spotted something new: pink spiked fruit.

kousa fruit on dogwood tree

Alex picked one up off the ground. The soft fruit was about the size of his thumb nail. With a little pressure, the skin split open to reveal bright orange flesh inside.

"It's edible," I said without knowing exactly what it was, nor having ever tasted it myself. I just knew I looked it up a few years ago. Ever the risk-taker, Alex licked a bit. "Tastes like mango." We passed around the fruit and agreed it was very sweet and tropical-flavored.

As soon as I returned home, I looked up the tree. It's a Kousa Dogwood, an Asian version of the ornamental tree species. Kousa fruits are indeed edible and sometimes used to make wine.

kousa edible fruit

Lil and I ventured out later to collect some more. We observed the Rules of Foraging and rang the bell of the nearest house to ask permission. No one answered so we limited our picking to what was fallen on the ground.

I tossed our modest haul in the Foley food mill and pressed the gritty flesh from the tough skin. With only a few tablespoons of yield, I naturally mixed the puree into a vodka martini with a lemon twist.

edible kousa dogwood tree fruit

If you happen to see a Kousa tree in your neighborhood, collect fruit in the fall to experience this taste of the tropics in central Ohio. And if you're a gardener, consider planting one - these Dogwoods are resistant to fungal diseases that often kill the more common Flowering Dogwood.