Cornus Mas – A Must-Have Shrub for the Cutting Garden Border

December 8, 2023

If your goal is to keep a ready stock of stems and branches to add to garden florals all year round, then you must plant Cornus Mas. Commonly known as Cornelian cherry, it is a mixed border cutting garden must have plant.  

A close up of Cornus Mas flowers on a tree.
Cornus mas Flowers in the Spring by Jaro Slav

Cornus Mas -Cornelian cherry

  • Zone 4-8
  • Blooms late March to early April
  • Easy to force indoors for those late winter florals.  
  • Native to southern Europe and western Asia

IN THE GARDEN: Grow Cornus mas for its early yellow flowers, which look like sweet little pom-pom puffballs. It is a great alternative to forsythia.

His peeling bark looks great in tree or shrub habit.

Tolerates partial shade and moderate soils.

COMBINE WITH: Daffodils and other spring flowering beauties such as hellebores.

cornus mas brides uk

A twig wreath with Cornus Mas around a candle

Designed by Roanne Robbins

Cornelian Cherry Blossoms in A Vase

mages from Brides UK

cornus mas branches in a vase

Cornelian Cherry in the Vase or Vessel:

Display bunches of long branches or feature a single stem in a simple bud vase. The beauty of this flowering branch is in the multitude of blossoms and the golden haze of color it brings to the room. This is an easy branch to force and the blooms last long indoors –  roughly 12 days.

COMBINE WITH: Simple green textures that can bring interest to the base of your arrangement like bergenia. Weave smaller pieces into spring wreaths or table adornments.  -Roanne

A close up of yellow flowers on a Cornus Mas tree.
Cornus mas shrub growing in Greece. By Alika

Ripe cornelian cherries on a tree branch.
Branch of Cornus mas dogwood tree with many ripe red Houndberries (Also called Cornelian cherry). The fruits of Cornelian cherry are edible and have a sweet-tart flavor. Eat them fresh or use in jams, jellies, or juices, or dried for later use. The fruits are rich in vitamin C.

Varieties of Cornus Mas to Explore for the Garden

​Cornus mas, commonly known as Cornelian cherry, is a versatile and attractive deciduous shrub or small tree. Here is a list of some popular varieties of Cornus mas and some of their special features:

  1. ‘Aurea’:
    • This cultivar is known for its golden-yellow foliage, adding a vibrant splash of color to the landscape. The leaves turn green in the summer and then take on orange and red hues in the fall.
  2. ‘Variegata’:
    • ‘Variegata’ features variegated leaves with creamy-white edges, creating a striking visual effect. The variegation adds interest even when the plant is not in bloom.
  3. ‘Flava’:
    • ‘Flava’ is valued for its large, bright yellow flowers. It is a prolific bloomer and brings a cheerful display of color to the early spring garden.
  4. ‘Spring Glow’:
    • ‘Spring Glow’ is recognized for its abundant yellow flowers and dark green foliage. It is a reliable and popular choice for gardens and landscapes.
  5. ‘Jolico’:
    • ‘Jolico’ is appreciated for its compact and rounded form. It produces clusters of bright yellow flowers in early spring and has attractive green foliage throughout the growing season.
  6. ‘Luteus’:
    • Also known as ‘Golden Glory,’ this variety showcases rich yellow flowers. It has a spreading habit and is a favorite for its early spring bloom.
  7. ‘Aurea-Elegantissima’:
    • This cultivar is admired for its variegated foliage with yellow edges.
  8. ‘Redstone’:
    • ‘Redstone’ is known for its deep red flowers, adding a touch of warmth and richness to the early spring garden.
  9. ‘Kazanlak’:
    • This cultivar is valued for its large and flavorful fruits. Cornelian cherries are edible, and ‘Kazanlak’ is often grown for both ornamental and fruiting purposes.

When selecting a Cornus mas variety, consider factors such as flower color, foliage characteristics, and overall size to find the one that best suits your garden preferences and needs.

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  1. Melissa E says:

    Oh wow, I just saw these for the first time at the Seattle Flower & Garden show over the weekend and freaked out. They’re absolutely incredible! I live in an apartment so unfortunately I can’t have one, but oh god. If I ever have a house that is all I am planting.

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