Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas)

The Cornelian cherry dogwood makes a great tree for hedging, since its branches grow so close together that they become impenetrable. In March, this tree is covered in bright yellow flowers. The tree's leaves are dark green and teardrop-shaped. This tree also produces cherry-red, oval-shaped berries, that may be used to make preserves or syrups. More often, though, these berries serve as bird food.

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)

Characteristics: In March, before the leaves emerge, bright yellow flowers cover the tree. The 2-inch to 4-inch-long leaves are oval-shaped, sometimes pointed, and dark green. In the fall, leaves turn purple-red. In June to July, oval-shaped, cherry-red berries begin to mature. Bark is dark gray, scaly and exfoliates. This tree has an oval-rounded to rounded shape, with a dense amount of thin stems. It grows 20-25 feet high and 15-20 feet wide.

Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)

Geographic Origin: Europe, Western Asia (non-native)

Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun to part shade. Prefers alkaline, moist, and well-drained soils. This tree produces suckers that should be removed promptly to control spread.

Number on Campus: 3

Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden