Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry or Edible Dogwood)
A deciduous tree to about 4m in height.
Hardiness level Green
A deciduous tree to about 4m in height. In late winter it bears clusters of small yellow flowers, followed by cherry red fruits that ripen in late summer with a cranberry/sour cherry flavour that is perfect for jam. Then finally the leaves turn purple before falling in the autumn. Described by Matt as 'a coral reef' and Sarah as 'a knarly old rhododendron.'
Easy to please, this grows in sheltered or exposed sites, full sun to partial shade, any well-drained soil. The wood is hard, was used by the ancient Greeks for spear and tool handles and still has many medicinal uses. 'By seed/cuttings'
N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.
As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.
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