Benthamia capitata (Wall.) Nakai
Cynoxylon capitatum (Wall.) Nakai
Dendrobenthamia capitata (Wall.) Hutch.
Benthamidia capitata (Wall.) H.Hara
Cornus kousa angustata Chun
Benthamidia japonica angustata (Chun) H.Hara
Dendrobenthamia angustata (Chun) W.P.Fang
Cornus angustata (Chun) T.R.Dudley
Cynoxylon ellipticum Pojark.
Dendrobenthamia hupehensis W.P.Fang
Dendrobenthamia wuyishanica W.P.Fang & Y.T.Hsieh
Dendrobenthamia longipedunculata S.S.Chang & X.Chen
Cornus elliptica (Pojark.) Q.Y.Xiang & Boufford
Dendrobenthamia elliptica (Pojark.) H.Yu
Benthamia fragifera Lindl.
Cynoxylon glabriusculum Pojark.
Cynoxylon yunnanense Pojark.
Dendrobenthamia emeiensis W.P.Fang & Y.T.Hsieh
Common Name: Bentham's Cornel
Cornus capitata is an evergreen shrub or a tree usually growing from 3 - 15 metres tall, occasionally reaching 20 metres. Of bushy habit, usually branching from low-down, if allowed to develop without interference by other trees it is usually wider than it is tall[
It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens, valued especially for its summer flowering and late autumn fruits[
E. Asia - southern China, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam
Forests and shrubberies; at elevations up to 3,400 metres[
]. Moist hillsides; at elevations from 1,700 - 2,600 metres[
]. Deep shade in evergreen and mixed forests; at elevations from 1,000 - 3,200 metres[
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Cornus capitata is not a very cold-hardy tree, tolerating temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c when dormant[
]. It grows very well in the maritime climate of southwestern England, self-sowing and fruiting prolifically in Cornish woodland gardens[
] and even doing well by the coast where it tolerates sea winds[
]. Plants are not generally hardy, however, in the London area, sometimes being killed even when protected by a south-facing wall[
]. New introductions of this species from the late 20th and early 21st centuries are from colder provenances and are proving to be hardier, with plants succeeding in many parts of Britain[
Succeeds in full sun or light shade[[
], preferring semi-shade[
]. An easily grown plant, it prefers an organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained, sandy soil but succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility[
], ranging from acid to shallow chalk[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils.
Squirrels are very fond of this fruit[
This species has been known to hybridize with Cornus kousa - the cultivar 'Norman Hadden' could be such a hybrid[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A bitter-sweet flavour[
], tasting like an over-ripe banana[
]. The fruit can also be used in preserves[
]. The fruit is is fleshy with a number of hard seeds and a tough slightly bitter skin[
]. Our experience is that some trees can produce quite pleasant tasting fruits, but many others produce fruit with a distinct and unpleasant bitterness[
]. The orange-red, fleshy, subglobose compound fruit is up to 35mm in diameter, containing a number of hard seeds[
The fruit ripens in late autumn to early winter and will fail to ripe properly if the weather is very cold[
The bark is used medicinally[
]. No further information is given, though the bark is a source of tannin which is used as an astringent[
The branches and leaves are a source of tannin[
The wood is very hard, close grained but warps when being seasoned. It is valued for making tools and other small articles[
The wood has a high calorific value and is used mainly for fuel[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[
]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[
]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[
]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[
]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[
]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, mid summer in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage[
Layering of new growth in early summer/July. Takes 9 months[