Cornus mas

Cornelian cherry

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Round, fat flower buds burst into bright yellow clusters of bloom in the middle of winter brightening the gray rainy days. This lovely small tree is easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of conditions and is quite drought tolerant once established. In late summer edible, red fruit hangs from the branches but are usually too tart to eat fresh. On older trees the crooked twisted trunks will flake and peel in tan, gray and brown patches. Autumn leaf color is a rich, purple-red.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: autumn color

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies, birds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: red, chartreuse

Great Color Partners: dark green, bronze

Culture Notes
Plant this slow growing tree in a moist to well-drained soil with full sun to light or open shade. It can be adaptable to sandy soils or clay and is quite drought tolerant once established.
Geek Notes
Native to central and southern Europe and southwestern Asia and has been cultivated since ancient times.