Cornus dichotoma Raf.
Cornus hessei Koehne
Cornus pumila Koehne
Cornus purpurea Tausch
Cornus sibirica (Lodd. ex Loudon) Loudon
Cornus spaethii G.Nicholson
Cornus subumbellata Komatsu
Cornus tatarica Mill.
Swida alba (L.) Opiz
Swida hessei (Koehne) Soják
Swida pumila (Koehne) Soják
Swida subumbellata (Komatsu) Holub
Thelycrania alba (L.) Pojark.
Common Name: Tartarian Dogwood
Cornus alba is a deciduous, wide-spreading shrub producing a thicket of erect to prostrate stems; it can grow 150 - 300cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of oil and wood. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a hedge.
Northern Europe (Russia) through northern Asia to Mongolia, Russian Far East, China and Korea
Mixed broad-leaved and coniferous forests, mixed thickets by streams; at elevations from 600 - 1,700 metres, occasionally to 2,700 metres in China[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Cornus alba is a very cold-hardy tree, tolerating temperatures down to around -35°c when dormant[
Succeeds in full sun or light shade[[
]. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility[
], though it prefers an organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in dry soils. Succeeds in poorly drained soils and so is suitable for streamside plantings[
A rampant, fast-growing species that is apt to smother neighbouring plants less vigorous than itself[
A very ornamental plant, especially in the autumn and winter with its fruit, autumn leaf colour and coloured stems[
There are several named varieties, selected mainly for their variegated leaves or winter stem colour[
For the best coloured stems, the plant should be cut back hard in the spring to about 5cm from the ground to encourage plenty of new growth[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
The usually oblong, juicy fruit is bluish at first, bluish-white to white when ripe, around 8mm long with a thin layer of flesh enclosing a single large seed[
]. We have seen no reports that the fruit is edible.
Plants can be grown to form a hedge[
The seeds contain 30% oil, which is used industrially[
The hard wood is sometimes used to make agricultural tools[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[
]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[
]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[
]. Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification[
]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[
]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, mid summer in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage[
Layering of new growth in early summer/July. Takes 9 months[