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CORNUS officinalis 'Morris Arboretum'

Image of Cornus officinalis 'Morris Arboretum'

Jessie Keith

Family

Cornaceae

Botanical Name

CORNUS officinalis 'Morris Arboretum'

Plant Common Name

Japanese Cornelian Cherry

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Japanese cornelian cherry is a late winter flowering shrub with tiny clusters of yellow blossoms. After flowering, this eastern Asian native produces berries that slowly turn from green to bright red. Its medium green foliage turns an appealing red-purple in autumn, and its bark is an interesting scaly blend of gray, orange and brown.

This dogwood is not fussy about the soil in which it grows, but should be planted in full to partial sun for best flowering, fruiting and fall-color. It is best planted it in front of a dark evergreen or wall. Either will heighten the visual "pop" of its leafless branches when they become covered with tiny winter flowers. Early blooming bulbs and corms, like winter aconite or snowdrops, would look beautiful in combination with Japanese cornelian cherry.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult to locate this species in the nursery trade. the cultivar 'Lemon Zest' has larger and bolder yellow flowers that bloom over a longer period. Other fine selections include 'Morris Arboretum', 'Issai Minari' and 'Sun Sphere'.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20'-25' / 6.1m - 7.6m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Purple

  • Bark Color

    Orange, Brown, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No