Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas 'Golden Glory')

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood
Cornus mas 'Golden Glory'

This is a small tree I am coming across more and more. I sometimes see large plants in the older gardens I visit but not that many. Its not really rare or anything like that but I think people are starting to see that it is a showy but easy to grow plant. This picture is from a plant I bought from Wayside Gardens in 1990. It has turned into a handsome tree. On this same property there was an existing specimen that I believe is not a cultivar. I actually moved it twice. Once while some major new garden construction was occurring and it sat above the ground (heeled in with mulch) for a couple of months. It didn’t seem to hurt as it almost doubled in size since then. It is now about 16 feet tall with a spread of about 10 feet. I have pruned it fairly hard for the last several years. It has been easy to keep the size down while maintaining a natural shape.

The ‘Golden Glory’ cultivar is a bit smaller but it has larger flowers and leaves and more a slender upright habit, it also flowers more profusely. It is growing in a very inhospitable area and for that my hat goes off to it. It has come a long way from the $29 stick that I bought and it has done it in dry, rocky unimproved soil. This garden has a large collection of Dogwoods. Including a Mexican Dogwood (Cornus florida var. urbiniana) and cross between the Eastern Dogwood and the Giant dogwood (Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’) and numerous Kousa and Florida cultivars. There are a few other species of Cornus growing there also.

Cornus mas is a welcome sight in the early spring garden. It blooms earlier than Forsythia and its flower buds are hardier for northern gardeners. It’s handsome foliage, bark, fall color and fruit can add interest to the garden during the year. It truly is a tree for all seasons. It can grow in most soils, including heavy clay and it is unaffected by most afflictions that some of the other Dogwoods get.

In reading the descriptions of the plants I post on this blog I noticed that there are a lot of botanical terms I either don’t know or are not sure of. I am going to try and take one word from the description and record here. I hope this helps me remember the term and maybe even use it. In the description of Cornus mas it says the cymes are 2 cm. in diameter.

So to the glossary we go:
“A broad, flattish determinate inflorescence, with the central or terminal flowers maturing first.”


Ki said...

Chris, we had several in the townhouse complex we lived in several years ago. The didn't prune it so it was left to grow as a shrub so it was quite large and unruly. I never liked it in that state so never thought to plant it as a small tree. Maybe I should reconsider.

Diane Dehler said...

I am glad that I found your space as I adore flowers. Your photos are amazing.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

princess, thanks for visiting and leaving the nice comments about the pictures.

Ki, Mine just sort of grew as a multi-stemmed tree. They develop a similar but nicer bark than our native Dogwoods.

Michele & Dustin McIntosh said...

Are the fruit of the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood edible by humans?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Yes they are edible but don't taste very good.