kusagiKusagi or Clerodendoron trichotomum. 臭木 (くさぎ) in Japanese. Clerodendoron means “cleros”(destiny)and “dendoron”means tree. Trichotomum means trichotomous, trifurcate, three-forked referring to the distinctive berry structure. It is a small tree beautiful shiny blue-purple berries, set in star-shaped deep pink sepals.

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This tree, despite the beauty of its fruit, is called kusagi, literally “stinky tree,” because of a rank odor exuded by its leaves.
It is a deciduous shrub with greyish smooth bark.

 

Leaves are decussately opposite, herbaceous with odor. The white flowers with 5-lobed reddish calyx open in August to September.

This tree is very common in the sunny secondary forests of the cool and warm temperate zone.

The wood is used for clogs. The fruits are used for dyeing. The young leaves are eaten.

Distribution ; Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Korea, Manchuria, Formosa, China, Philippines.

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