Cricket Hill Garden
Cornus, 'Black Plum' cornelian cherry
Cornus mas 'Black Plum'
This cultivar is reported to be early ripening with inch long fruit that is very dark red or purple with good flavor. Our trees will bear for the first time this year and we are very excited to try the fruit!
This rare cultivar was selected by legendary New York rare fruit enthusiasts John Gordon from a planting of C. mas done by Cornell pomology professor George Slate. We acquired this cultivar from the garden of renowned horticultural writer Lee Reich.
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: Partially self-fertile trees require little attention once established. Yields are better with two different cultivars or seedlings. 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. Only pest of note has been spotted winged drosophila. Leaves sometimes become infected with anthracnose. This disease is purely cosmetic on C. mas and does not harm the tree. Birds and critters will compete with humans for the harvest.
Plant size: 2' tall tree
When we ship: FALL 2023 / SPRING 2024.