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Cornus officinalis

Japanese cornelian cherry

C. officinalis is a vigorous spreading shrub with rough, flaking brown bark and ovate dark green leaves turning red-purple in autumn. Yellow flowers are produced in in loose umbels, 2cm across, in late winter before the leaves open. They are followed by edible bright-red fruits

Other common names
Japanese cornel
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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Purple Red Red
Winter Yellow
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Cornaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Cornus can be deciduous shrubs or trees, or creeping, woody-based perennials, some with brightly coloured young stems. Tiny flowers are borne in dense clusters, sometimes with showy bracts. Many have fine autumn colour

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

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How to grow

Cultivation

Tolerant of a range of soils and locations but best in fertile, humus-rich well-drained neutral to acid soil in full sun or part shade. For more advice, see flowering dogwood cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed in autumn or stratify and sow in spring or propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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