This small deciduous large shrub or small tree is native to Southern Europe and South Western Asia. A member of the dogwood family Cornaceae, Cornus Mas commonly known as Cornelian Cherry but also referred to as European Cornel or Cornelian Cherry Dogwood.
It is an excellent ornamental plant for late winter interest with masses of small yellow flowers being produced on the naked extremely dense dark brown woody stems followed by the appearance of ovate shaped dark green leaves which turn reddish purple in autumn. Fleshy bright red fruits of similar appearance to coffee berries are produced in late summer. The sharp fruit when ripe is mainly used for making jam but is also used for distilling various alcoholic spirits and liqueurs depending on the country!
The density of the wood of Cornelian Cherry means that rather unusually for a woody plant, it sinks in water. It is also widely used in the making of tool handles. The red dye used to colour the fez commonly associated with the famous comedian ‘Tommy Cooper’ was produced from its bark and tannin is produced from it leaves.
Cornelian Cherry is hardy, undemanding and easy to grow on well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Excellent in flower borders, informal gardens and for hedges from 1.2m to 2m in height. Growing between 30-50cm per year, it requires very little pruning but if judicious pruning is needed to shape the tree then the most suitable time to trim is in late winter or early spring.
Cornelian Cherry can be purchased from us as either a bare rooted plant from November through until March or in 1 metre length Instant Hedging Elements for those where an instant effect is required. If purchasing as a bare rooted plant, it can be heeled in if you are not quite ready to plant or if the weather is not kind on delivery, Instant hedging in our one metre troughs can be planted at any time.
If you require any more information or have further questions please do not hesitate to call our offices and we will be glad to help.