Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees


Cornus - Dogwood

There are some 45 species of Cornus trees and shrubs that vary in their growing habits with some being deciduous and others evergreen, some wanting well drained soil and others tolerating almost marshy conditions; Certain varieties are quite hardy and some a little delicate as regards the cold, most species have unimpressive flowers whereas a few put on more of a show with tight masses of flowers and bracts.

Several varieties of Cornus are very popular here in the U.K. for their colourful stems and variegated leaves. They will grow into a smallish tree if allowed to and the stems will lose their colour, but if repeatedly cut down each year these particular plants will throw up masses of new stems that are more brightly coloured than the old and will grow into a dense thicket. As Winter approaches and the leaves fall, the true beauty of the colourful Cornus can be seen with its bright red, yellow or green stems, (depending on the variety.)

Most Cornus produce ornamental berries after flowering, but Cornus Mas, or the Cornelian Cherry, produces small edible red berries that ripen in late Summer. It is one of the larger growing Cornus and as such perhaps not suitable for smaller gardens, but another variety of the smaller Cornus Kousa, the Japanese Flowering Dogwood, has also been hybridised to yield larger berries.

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