This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

'Cherries' in October

Not only do they look like cherries, when the fruit of Cornus mas are soft, they even taste like cherries. Three specimens in a line on the west side of town were so laden with fruit yesterday that the branches were close to breaking. Usually (in my limited experience) this species produces fruit only sparingly.

Cornus mas is a dogwood that has a lot of 'common' names like 'cornelian cherry' and 'cornel.' A couple weeks ago I saw it mixed in a backyard orchard that included peach, apricot and apple. The nursery tag identified it as 'cornelian cherry,' and no doubt the homeowner thought it was just another stone fruit.
These are fun to eat, very tart but with a pleasant aftertaste. Add a lot of sugar or harvest them just before they fall and they can be made into a preserve.  They do that in Eastern Europe.

Also on this particular property were a couple katsura trees. The sweet strawberry fragrance imparted by the fallen leaves could be detected from a good distance. Now's the time to experience it!

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