Cornus mas

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 4 Professionals
Common Name: cornelian cherry dogwood
Type: Tree
Family: Cornaceae
Native Range: Europe, western Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, organically rich soils. Promptly remove root suckers to control spread.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cornus mas, commonly known as cornelian cherry, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to central and southern Europe into western Asia. It typically grows over time to 15-25' tall with a spread to 12-20' wide. Scaly, exfoliating bark develops on mature trunks. Yellow flowers on short stalks bloom in early spring before the leaves emerge in dense, showy, rounded clusters (umbels to 3/4" wide). Each umbel is surrounded at the base by small, yellowish, petaloid bracts which are much less showy than the large decorative bracts found on some other species of dogwood such as Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) and Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood). Ovate to elliptic dark green leaves (to 4" long) typically develop insignificant fall color. Fruits are ellipsoid, fleshy, one-seeded berries (drupes to 5/8" long) which mature to cherry red in mid-summer. Fruits are edible, although sour tasting fresh off the plant. Fruits may be used for making syrups and preserves.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for horn in reference to the hardiness of the wood.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word for male in reference to the absence of fruits that sometimes occurs for several years after new plants begin to bloom.

Common name refers to the cherry-like fruits which resemble in color the semi-precious gemstone carnelian (or cornelian).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Valued for its very early spring bloom. Best as a hedge, screen or foundation plant or as a specimen or grouping in the shrub border. May be naturalized in open woodland or naturalized areas. May also be trained as a small tree.