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.

3 comments:

  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)!

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

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  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.

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