I have recently come to enjoy the cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas). It was its early spring blooming yellow flowers that drew me to this plant, but I have to say, the fruit and the bark are added features that keep me coming back for more. I am lucky enough to have a hedge row of this plant near my office, so not a day goes by that I don't get to enjoy these plants. I wanted to share some photos of its fruit, both in the canopy and some that have fallen off. The squirrels are having a great time gorging themselves on the ripening fruit, at least here at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Photo Credit - Amy Stone, OSU Extension - Lucas County
The cornelian cherry dogwood can be a small tree, or shrub-like in its appearance. The plant tops out at about 20 to 25 feet. Its width ranges from 15 to 20 feet wide. There are some cultivars that are smaller in size. The yellow flowers appear in the early spring before the leaves appear. The plant prefers full sun to part-shade. It is relatively tolerant to different soil conditions, including occasionally flooding and dry conditions, but tends not to transplant well.
Photo Credit: Amy Stone, OSU Extension - Lucas County
Most fruit starts out yellow and ripens to a bright red, although there are some cultivars that the fruit remains yellow.
I have observed over the last few years that some fruit drop has occurred. It is a very small percentage of the fruit and even then is grazed by the squirrels. It guess the fruit is a taste treat whether on the ground or still in the tree. It is also important to note that the fruit is edible by humans too. It can be a little tart for my liking, many enjoy it as is, or made into jelly or jam.