Saturday, April 30, 2011

Joseph Prestele: Benthamia japonica

Colored lithograph on stone by Joseph Prestele, after a drawing of Benthamia japonica by H. Popp, a botanical artist from Bamberg, Germany. Benthamia japonica, Japanese flowering dogwood, is a synonym of Cornus kousa Hance.

A few facts about Joseph Prestele

A few facts about Cornus kousa
1. It's a small -- typically less than 40 feet tall -- deciduous tree.
2. What look like four-petaled white flowers are actually bracts, a special kind of leaf, which surround small yellow-green flowers.
3. The fruit, shown at the bottom right, is an inch to an inch and a half wide, light-red or pink. It has a stony pit.
4. The bark on mature trees forms a camouflage pattern.


  1. The dissection drawings are fascinating. I have this tree growing beside my garden fence, but didn't notice all these little parts. I will take a good look this year (before the critters and neighbourhood kids come by to snack on the fruit again)!

  2. Oops, correction. Mine is the Strawberry Dogwood (Cornus capitata).

  3. What do the fruits taste like? I've seen them before, but have never... erm... bitten. I wonder if they'd make a good jam like other more esoteric fruits.