Cornelian Cherry (Cornus Mas)

I found interesting document

Most cultivars available in North America are patented (rebranded) by One Green World Ukrainian varieties and in Crimea you can just walk in a forest and find hundred cultivars red, yellow, amber, … and no patent needed.

I bought this year Amber (Yantarnaya) and Red Dawn (Radist, “Joy”), and my previous tree Cornelian Cherry “Elegant” died next year when I transplanted it into ground… it was growing very well in a pot, overwintered in a pot, was showing new leaves next Spring, but after I put it into ground it stopped growth and died by the end of season…

which variety is best tasting / long season, for eating fresh, for backyard grower?
where can I buy it? I am in Canada and the only place is


Looks like an excellent nursery. Transplant when dormant. To move once it started growing is not the best time.

I grow these but I grow seedlings for a hedge. Fruit is secondary to them forming a hedge. I never considered them for fresh eating because of how tart they are.
I did try to graft some cultivars, but the grafts died when we had an early freeze/ I was bummed because they all took.

I don’t really care about patents, that is more to stop other nurseries, once in my hands it’s mine. What I do with them, they will never know.
I don’t think many grow them, I would be curious as to what people like too. The seedling fruit was interesting enough to look at cultivars.


Hi @Drew51

I like what you wrote :relaxed:

And I also believe changing name from “Radost” to Red Dawn Cornelian Cherry ™ (see and registering Ukrainian variety as trademark in USA is kind of illegal practice, at the very least it is not ethical. It places them to the level of crooks from Green Barn Nursery who sells “Illinois Everbearing” under name “Montreal Mulberry”. What if some other nurseries import the same plant and then register it under some other names… here is description in Russian, same plant,

I am in a hunt for Cornelian Cherries because you won’t find them in local stores (not profitable for farmers), and because I know its’ taste (I am from Eastern Europe). Wild are super sour; but if you keep them on a plate for few days they become sweeter and edible. Some cultivars are so delicious for fresh eating and just a little bit sour! Even sour ones: irreplaceable for some traditional meat dishes. Jam from it is really medicinal, mixed with tea, it helps fight with fever and common cold.


A trademark is not a patent, So they don’t have a patent. You just can’t call it the trademark name, but you can clone and sell as something else. That is legal.

I happen to like sour, so they are my kind of fruit. Sweeter would be fine, but not a must.

I’ve got one in my back yard (along with everything else…lol). I had a C. Mas Variegata, but lost it the first winter. I still want to replace it…

It bloomed sparsely last year, but this year it was absolutely covered with flowers. I’m hoping for fruit this year!!


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I have at least half a dozen in containers…seedlings before Lawyer Nursery closed.

Haven’t bloomed yet.


Korallovyj Marka and Szafer are the best tasting.


Hi @BlueBerry, I have seedlings in containers too, maybe three; keeping it as possible cross pollinators for cultivars, and simply not having space. And I can use it for grafting experiments too. I’ve read it usually takes 6-8 years for good crop, according to stats in a book (in Russian) Klimenko - Cornus mas.pdf

I also suspect in tight spaces (such as pots) fruit trees will stop growing sooner and will “feel mature” to start fruiting; just a thought, but I found some clues on Internet too.

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“Koraloviy Marka” is on page 24 of Klimenko book, and Szafer is listed here, as an outstanding variety with longest harvest time (which is super important for backyard grower).

Thanks for pointing to it!

I am really wondering if I can have collection of smaller fruiting trees in 20-Gallon fabrics pots… and pruning technique to manage size and fruiting. Maybe I’ll try “Apple Tall Spindle” ideas, columnar trees with bending down branches. “Vertical Gardening” if space is limited.

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That is about how long mine took to bloom. A few did it in 4 years, but some are still not blooming after 7 years. Others are loaded with fruit. I have 14 seedlings in a hedge form.
I don’t have a recent photo. This one was taken in 2016. The hedge on the right are the 14 cornus mas seedlings. The hedge is 12 feet tall now. At my cottage these trees stay green longer than anything else.


I’m glad you have found my page and enjoy the resources! If you’re on Facebook I’d like to encourage you to join the Cornelian Cherry Growers group there… Cornelian Cherry Growers

There are other Canadians there and maybe you can connect with them for scions or seeds.

Good Luck! Little John


@wildforager, thank you, joined :blush:

I have few seedlings in 10-gallon fabrics pots under skies and elements, leafing now, all alive. Hopefully I’ll find some cultivars to graft. Too bad I couldn’t save “Elegant” last year…

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Cornus fruit is done here for about month or more but I got this late ripening variety that is still hanging and slowly collecting sugar. Kazanlak, originally from Bulgaria, most likely the biggest fruit I have ever seen


Looks yummy!

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It does, right? Well it’s still too astringent. My plant is behind the wall. I had cornus about 6 years ago on full sun and it was driving me crazy. We receive very little rain so it wouldn’t grow even if I was watering it, something like pawpaws.
I decided to put this one in full shade, it gets only about 3 hours of sun till it outgrows the wall so I expect better taste (and earlier ripening time) once that happens. The red cornus has a different taste than the yellow one. Red is somewhat like sour cherry, yellow more like a cherry plum (myrobalan)

Incidentally, although you didn’t ask and may already know this, if your dead original tree was kept outdoors in a pot, the roots likely were killed by excessive cold. Roots tend to be significantly less tolerant of cold than above ground wood. Potted plants need to have pots well insulated in a way that catches heat from the ground but doesn’t allow it to escape from the potting mix excessively. Heating coils are sometimes used when adequate heat can’t be trapped from the ground.

@alan lan thank you for comment; nothing gets killed in my area (Toronto, Ontario) even Japanese Maples. Especially if you water it deeply before first frosts and keep in a shade. My first plant Cornelian Cherry “Elegant” survived first Winter but then died in Spring because I replanted it after it started open buds and I didn’t water it enough. And my three seedlings survived in 10-gallon fabrics pots without absolutely any extra attention from my side, I planted them last Fall almost rootless. (or course I’d never use 1-Gallon plastic pots “under sun”: will dry and freeze to death!)

I just read about the Toronto weather and I must not understand you. You keep trees in pots outside, above the ground without winter protection? I just read that on cold winters you do get temps below 0 Fahrenheit.

That said, you sure are in one of the best areas in Canada outside British Columbia for growing fruit.

Same here with most plants. They do great in the cold. In fabric too. I have plants that spent 5 winters in pots and they are all huge. Mostly currants, brambles, and honeyberries.
Dogwood cherries can become soft, but they look rotted to me. This year was the first year I had a decent harvest. I took them at deep red and will make a syrup. I didn’t taste much astringency although they were tart. I plan to make syrup, just add vodka and soda! . Their main function is as a hedge, the fruit is a bonus.

I don’t grow my trees in pots exposed to coldest temps because the nurseries around here always keep their’s protected by piling up mulch for protection- so I can’t speak from experience because I imitated them after reading that the relative vulnerability of roots to cold is unpredictable. I don’t know if the issue has ever been studied of trees not used as ornamental plants in large pots on a regular basis. The issue varies from species to species.

“Essentially any type of container exposes the roots to ambient temperatures,” says Dr. Hannah Mathers, assistant professor in nursery and landscape extension at Ohio State University in Columbus. Mature roots can gradually get used to the cold, but young, immature roots can’t. In containers, young roots grow on the outer part of the rootball. When exposed to the cold, young roots are unable to acclimate and die back.

And, young or old, the roots are usually not has hardy as the plant’s top. American holly (Ilex opaca) is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The top part (stems and foliage) of the plant will survive to a temperature of about -20 F, but immature roots die at 23 degrees above zero, and mature roots at nine degrees. In the ground and insulated by the earth, that’s usually no problem for the roots of hollies in Zone 5 where the average minimum temperature is -10 to -20 F. But in a container, root damage in American holly would begin to occur at 23 degrees if left unprotected — a drastic difference from -20 degrees.

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