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Botanical Name: Cornus mas
Common Name: Cornelian Cherry Dogwood
Origin: Europe/W. Asia
Location: CNE, CSE, CSW, KN
Notable Feature: This small tree is exceptional for its flowering time. In late winter, usually in early March, flowers decorate the plant in the usually barren, late winter landscape. Early flowers as well as its mottled, flaky bark make it a most interesting specimen.
Habit: A large, deciduous, multistemmed shrub or a small tree with oval-rounded outline, usually branching low to the ground. Mature size is around 25 feet high with a 20-foot spread. Dark gray to reddish brown bark is scaly, curling, and exfoliates in patches.
Flower: Small, 1-inch umbels contain showy, yellow flowers in late winter and remain ornamental for at least 3 weeks or longer. Species has perfect (bisexual) flowers and the numerous, yellow clusters appear before the leaves in early spring.
Fruit: An oblong drupe, bright cherry red appearing in July and ripening in late summer. The ½ to ¾-inch long, sour fruits are edible and can be used in cooking to make preserves.
Foliage: Opposite, ovate and 2 ½ to 5” long. Bright green and somewhat glossy during summer; fall color can be a reddish purple in years where good weather gives colorful leaves.
Interesting Fact: Common name refers to the cherry-like fruits which resemble in color the semi-precious gemstone carnelian (or cornelian).