Cornus mas L.

Cornelian Cherry

Deciduous open shrub or occasionally small tree to 5 m tall. Leaves ovate-elliptic, 5-10 cm long, glossy above with 3-5 vein pairs, close hair on both surfaces, sometimes making the leaves greyish and slightly rough to touch. Flowers small, yellow, in clusters with a yellow basal leaf, looking like those of the Witch Hazel, Hamamelis; spring. Bracts 4, small, to 1 cm long, hairy. Fruit 1-2 cm long, shiny red, simple (not compound as in C. capitata and C. kousa).

C. officinalis Siebold &Zucc., Japanese Cornelian Cherry (Japanese Cornel), from China and Japan is similar but has 5-7 vein pairs, tufts of red-brown hairs in the leaf axils and larger flowers.

Europe, Caucasus, W Asia.

Berry simple, red.

Fruits edible but bitter, used for making jams and the alcoholic French beverage, Vin de Cornouille.

ACT: Yarralumla (Westbourne Woods).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Cornaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Cornus mas 'Variegata'

Leaf edges creamy white.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Cornales
family       Cornaceae
genus        Cornus L.