Corneliancherry Dogwood

(Cornus mas)

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The corneliancherry dogwood is a large, oval-rounded shrub or small tree that's usually 20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide. Often multistemmed, it typically branches to the ground but can be limbed up to form a small tree. For three weeks or so in early spring, clusters of yellow flowers appear.

The corneliancherry dogwood bears a heavy crop of bright red berries in midsummer that are often partly obscured by the leaves. The fruit is edible but not palatable when raw; sometimes made into jam and preserves. Fall color is unremarkable--either a dull purplish red or the leaves fall off while still green. Exfoliating bark in shades of gray and brown provides a little winter interest.

Culture: The corneliancherry dogwood tolerates almost any soil (including heavy clay) and adapts to almost any pH but prefers a well-drained, fertile loam. Give it sun to part shade. Very pest- and disease-resistant.

Selected cultivars
'Alba'. White fruit.
'Aurea'. Golden-yellow leaves.
'Golden Glory'. An upright form.
'Spring Glow'. Leaves are dark green and leathery, flowers bright yellow. Good for Zone 7 and 8 where the species doesn't flower as well.
'Variegata'. Creamy-white margins on the leaves.

USDA Zones 4 to 7(8).

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