Cornelian-cherry dogwood is a small 20 to 25 foot tree that thrives in urban conditions as a specimen plant, in masses, near a patio, or as a hedge. Tight clusters of small star-shaped yellow flowers bloom in early spring, covering the tree before leaves emerge. Clean, medium-green foliage appears in summer, shortly followed by dark red fruits, ripening in July. The tree is native to Europe and Asia.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Dry sites
- Occasional flooding
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Compact tree (10-15 feet)
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Mixed border
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
- Early spring
Size and Form
20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; versatile; can be trained into a hedge, a multi-stemmed shrub or a single trunk tree
Tree & Plant Care
A tough, adaptable small multi-stemmed tree or large shrub.
Prune in spring after flowering.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe and Asia.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Fruit attracts songbirds in July.
Host for butterfly caterpillar and larva of the azure butterfly in the spring and summer.
Bark color and texture
Bark is an attractive dark gray to reddish brown with scaly, exfoliating patches for some winter interest.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, simple, oval to elliptical, entire with distinct veins, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, dark green above, lighter below.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small (1/8 inch) yellow flowers in tight clusters of about 1 inch wide, very numerous, appearing before the leaves in early spring.
One of first trees to flower in spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Elongated, bright red drupe, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, ripening in late summer.
Cultivars and their differences
Golden Glory (Cornus mas ‘Golden Glory’): 12 to 15 feet high and 8 to 10 feet wide; narrow, upright form