Cricket Hill Garden
Cornelian Cherry, 'Vavilovets'
Cornus mas 'Vavilovets'
This cultivar was imported from Ukraine into the US about a decade ago. It is a relatively new cultivar selected for it's large and tasty oblong fruit. Rated one of the top cultivars by cornelian cherry expert Svitlana Klimenko of the National Botanical Gardens of the Ukraine.
This cultivar, which is also know as 'Vavilov' is named after the famed Soviet plant scientist Nikolai Vavilov. His research in the 1920s and 1930s laid the foundation for the modern understanding of how staple cereal crops were first domesticated from their wild progenitors. The seed he collected during these research expeditions, forms the basis of the collection at the Institute of Plant Industry in St. Petersburg. Tragically, like so many other innocents, Vavilov became a victim of the Stalin's paranoia terror. Charged with improving crop yields, Vavilov clashed with the anti-Mendelian pseudo-scientific theories advanced by Trofim Lysenko, who was able to promise great improvements in agricultural production unbound by the constraints of scientific facts or evidence. Even as Lysenko's favored theory of Lamarkism became orthodoxy in Soviet agriculture, Vavilov refused to concede theory of genetics on which his career had been based. Arrested in 1940, he died in prison, of what many historians contend was starvation, in 1943. It was only in the mid-1950s with the Khrushchev thaw and de-Stalinization that Vavilov was posthumously rehabilitated. For the rest of the Soviet period, he was celebrated as one of the early greats in Soviet science.
The fruit of this dogwood species has been enjoyed by humans for millennia. A particular favorite of the ancient Greeks, it was widely planted in medieval monastery gardens throughout Europe. Today, it is still grown commercially in Turkey.
Cherry-like fruits ripen in the late summer and early fall. Good for fresh eating as well as dried or made into preserves. Cornus mas is highly ornamental in the early spring, with the entire tree covered in a profusion of small yellow blossoms.
Size at maturity: 10-20' tall and and 7-8' wide.
Site Selection: Ideally full-sun location, but will also grow and fruit in dappled sun locations. Adaptable to a range or soil types provided the planting location is well drained. Prefers a pH of around 6.5.
Cultivation: Self-fertile trees require little attention once established, though better fruit set is accomplished with two different cultivars. Cornus mas can be trained as a small standard tree or as a multi-stemmed shrub. For a mature tree it is only necessary to prune out dead, broken or crossed branches.
Zone hardiness, Pests, & Diseases: Hardy to USDA zone 5-7. Pest and disease free. Birds and critters will compete with humans for the harvest.
Plant size: 2' tall tree
When we ship: FALL 2022.