Cornus capitata
Common name: 
Evergreen Dogwood
Bentham's Cornel
Himalayan Strawberry Tree
KOR-nus kap-i-TA-ta
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen tree/shrub, may reach 50 ft (15 m) when grown as a tree, but often smaller (20-30 ft; 6-9 m); may have similar width; horizontal branches.  Bark brown or blackish gray.  Leaves evergreen, simple, opposite, 5-12 cm, variable, ovate to lanceolate, leathery to thin, dark green above, gray-green below with dense appressed pubescence; turn red or purplish in fall.  True flowers white, small, and in small terminal heads, surrounded by 4-6 large, 2-4 × 4-8 cm, rich cream color to pale yellow bracts, occasionally white, appear in summer.  Fruit fleshy, rounded to strawberry-like, 2.5 cm across, green then crimson, reportedly edible, sweet, (called the Himalayan strawberry tree) in reference to the fruits.; can be a litter problem.
  • Sun to light shade.  Unless grown from cuttings, trees don't flower until 8 to 10 years old (Sunset Western Garden Book).
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 8    Native to evergreen and mixed forests, 1,000-3,200 m elevation; China (Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan), Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal.
  • capitata: growing in a dense head, presumably a reference to the true flower cluster.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: in the court yard behind Shepard Hall, along north wall
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowering branch

    flowering branch

  • flower opening

    flower opening

  • flower


  • white flower and leaves

    white flower and leaves

  • leaves, in shade

    leaves, in shade

  • leaves


  • leaves


  • immature fruit and leaves

    immature fruit and leaves

  • ripe fruit and leaves

    ripe fruit and leaves

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark