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Cornus sericea ‘Baileyi’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Cornus sericea ‘Baileyi’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zone
Zones 1-6, 32-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Cornus mas

Cornelian Cherry
Cornaceae
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

CORNUS

All dogwoods offer attractive foliage and blossoms; some have spectacular fruit or winter bark. Leaves of many types turn brilliant colors in fall. What appear to be flower petals in many dogwoods are actually bracts—petal-like modified leaves. These surround the inconspicuous true flowers.

Cornus mas ‘Golden Glory’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Cornus mas ‘Golden Glory’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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Cornus mas

Native to southern Europe, Asia. Usually an airy, twiggy shrub but can be trained as a small tree (15–20 ft. high and wide). One of the earliest dogwoods to bloom, bearing clustered masses of small, soft yellow blossoms on bare twigs in mid- to late winter. Oval, 2–4-in.-long leaves turn from shiny green to yellow (or red, in some forms) in autumn. Fall color is enhanced by clusters of cherry-size, bright scarlet fruits that hang on until birds get them. Fruit can be used for preserves. In winter, flaking, mottled gray-and-tan bark provides interest. Tolerates alkaline soils.

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