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: (2002). Cornaceae. In: . 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.