Cornelian Cherry Dogwood
Brighten your spring landscape and provide an early food source for pollinators with Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas).
This four-season plant starts the year with bright yellow blossoms about the same time the forsythias bloom. The flowers are replaced with red elongated cherry-like fruit. They are edible but very tart. You’ll need to add quite a bit of sugar when making jam and jelly. Or dry, pickle, juice or ferment them into Cornelian cherry wine. You can use them in the same way you would cranberries or tart cherries.
Enjoy the fall display as the leaves turn a beautiful maroon. But the show isn’t over as the leaves drop to reveal the beautiful peeling bark on mature trees.
This dogwood can be grown as a single or multi-stem small tree or large shrub. Hardy in zones 4 to 7 or 8, it prefers full sun to partial shade.
A bit more information: Proper timing of harvest will improve the flavor. Pick Cornelian cherries when they begin to soften. Immature fruit is edible, but very astringent.