10 responses to “Cornus mas”

  1. Anna

    Thank you Taisha and Daniel for the post. I love Cornus mas. There were several beautiful old specimens where I went to college in southern Sweden. The flowers announced that spring had arrived, and the fruits were beautiful in the fall. We would eat a few of them.
    Also a shout-out to Elizabeth A Airhart: I am so glad to see your posts back here in the comments section again. I enjoy the poetry and reflections that you bring to this forum. Thank you!

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    I should add that Eric occasionally makes cornelian cherry tarts, which are appreciated by all (it is a lot of work to separate out the seeds from the drupes).

  3. Bill Barnes

    I have several 1/2 pint jars of Cornelian cherry jam in my pantry right now . We should not leave out that Cornus officinalis also makes a decent Cornelian Cherry . Cornus mas fruit ripens in Sept . near Philadelphia whereas C. officinalis ripens in July . Both are in bloom right now.
    The fruit is a bit sour to eat out of hand but when dried like cranberries it is quite good. In the various “stans” of Asia minor and the Republic of Georgia there are many examples of selections based upon superior fruit quality. There are selections here in the US that produce vast quantities of fruit , why it is not raised commercially I am not sure .

  4. jessica

    Thanks for all the great info about Cornus mas. There are many beautiful, old specimens in my local Brooklyn Botanical Garden that arch over one of the formal walkways. If people don’t get a chance to eat the fruit, I’m very sure that the local birds really appreciate it. IIRC, the trunks of the trees are often machine-gunned with lines of holes from our Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
    Interesting about the density and use of the wood, as well as its edible attributes.
    Thanks so much!

  5. michael aman

    I also want to say that I had missed the frequent posts of Elizabeth A. Airhart.

  6. Ron B

    Less interest probably cultural, mass planting of “mas” at Center for Urban Horticulture campus has a history of attracting groups of people of apparent Slavic extraction after the fruits have been falling for a time (and are available for gathering).

  7. Gary in Olympia

    I bought one 10 years ago and planted it prominently next to the driveway. After 4 years, though, I had to move it to a far corner of the yard out of sight, because its fast growth plus its habit of producing “bottle-brush” side branches (with sub-branches pointing every whichway) made it a pruning nightmare!
    About 3 years ago it started to produce huge quantities of fruit. When it began to ripen it didn’t take long for the ground to be literally covered in a squishy red carpet! No cherry on the tree ever got sweet enough for me to snack on; I had to wait for it to fall and ripen a few more days on the ground before I could enjoy it.

  8. Peony Fan

    Thank you, Taisha, for this interesting write-up. (Are the flowers truly ‘petal-less’?) I grow Cornus officinalis whose fruits remind me a lot of those of Cornus mas. I nibble on them when they are very ripe in the fall but am too lazy to gather enough to make anything out of them given the low ratio of fruit pulp to seed. We, in Minnesota, are enduring the coldest winter in 50 years so I’m anxious for spring to come and see how my two trees have fared.

  9. taisha.jm

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Peony Fan, I’ve just checked and the small flowers of Cornus mas (approximately 2.3-2.73mm in length) are hermaphroditic, have four petals, approximately four stamen, and a single pistil that is surrounded by a nectar disc (see: Mert, C. (2012). Studies on Structure of Flowers and Inflorescences of Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas L.). Nat. Bot. Horti. Agrobo.40(2):53-57.).

  10. BasiaK

    In Poland the bush is quite popular nowadays in private gardens. The fruit is not eaten though, but made into alcoholic drink. It is gathered when it is ripe – preferably already fallen down – immersed in water solution of strong spirit with sugar added and left to stand for a couple at months at the very least. The fruit is then thrown out (or kept as a addition for icecream or cakes), the liquor filtered, bottled and left to ripen. The longer it stands, the better it tastes. It looks beautiful, being ruby-red in colour and it is said to possess medicinal qualities as well.
    I grow cultivar called ‘Variegata’, but cannot obtain fruit enough for making liquor or any other preserves. Possibly another bush in the neighbourhood would be needed to cross-fertilize the flowers.

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