Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas)
Cornelian cherry dogwood offers some of the earliest spring flowers, vibrantly colored edible summer fruits, and exfoliating bark that adds rich visual interest to winter gardens. At maturity, it can reach heights of 20 to 30 feet. It is available both as a single-stemmed or multistemmed plant. This plant is a nice specimen tree if its lower branches are pruned. Small yellow flowers appear in March, and during a cool spring, they'll last for weeks. A bright red fruit that ripens in midsummer is edible but extremely tart! Fall color can be reddish to purple, depending on the year. The exfoliating, flaky bark, gray-brown to rich brown in color, is very attractive. The cornelian cherry dogwood is one of the first plants, and earliest dogwood, to flower in the Midwest. It is a durable and useful landscape plant that prefers well-drained soil.