Are cornus kousa/ c. florida hybrids always fruitless?

christie_sw_mo(Z6)December 6, 2011

I've been trying to learn about interspecific hybrids. (hope I'm calling it the right thing) Am I right in thinking that some have fruit and some don't? Persimmon crosses do have fruit but they're usually seedless, correct? Just wondering why the hybrid dogwoods don't produce seedless fruit also. Are they breeding them that way on purpose so they will have heavier flowers or is there no way to get fruit?

Also wondering if there's such a thing as a cornus mas/cornus kousa hybrid since those are both edible. How would I find out if such a cross would produce seedless fruit?

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Wish this forum had a little more traffic. I'm just posting so this will drop...eventually.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 7:49PM
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ethane(9 FL)

I think the lack of response may be due to a lack of knowledge, especially in reference to the Cornus kousa x C. mas. That would be an interesting cross, and I've wondered about that myself, but I don't know how sexually compatible they are. They are grouped in different subgroups (C. kousa and C. florida are in the same subgroup) and they have different fruit structure. So while it may not be impossible, I can't find evidence of anyone having made the cross before. It may require some extra effort, like embryo rescue or ovule culture. I think it would be cool, but I'm not going to do it.

In regard to the seedlessness of interspecific hybrids, I don't think you can make a general claim one way or the other as several factors can affect that. I assume you are just talking about interspecific hybrids in general? Many are fertile and have been used in different breeding programs. Things that can affect seedlessness are things like ploidy level or perhaps some kind of genetic barrier. For example, in citrus you can have seedless triploids or there are known genes that cause seedlessness. In persimmons you can get fruit formation without seeds, but in some species if you don't have seed formation then you don't get fruit. I don't know how that works in Cornus species. Do you have or know of a plant that is producing seedless fruit?

As to know whether a C. kousa x C. mas would produce seedless fruit--You would just have to make the cross!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 10:30PM
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Thank you Ethane! I haven't tried to cross them. I have c. kousa trees but not c. mas. I was thinking about ordering one but someone mentioned that the seed was large in them and it just got me thinking that it would be nice if there was a seedless variety available.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 8:46AM
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keking(z6 TN)

Stellar Hybrids: "Results of crosses made between Cornus florida and Cornus kousa; highly resistant to dogwood borers"

More on dogwoods and hybrids

I'm interested in the red-twig types, Cornus alba (Siberia, China), sericea/stolonifera (U.S.) and sanguinea (Europe). They are somewhat similar, but I can't find any info on crosses among them. C. sericea/stolonifera has been crossed with other American species, though.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dogwood, Stellar hybrids

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 9:21AM
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