Cornus comosa Raf.
Cornus foemina racemosa (Lam.) J.S.Wilson
Cornus paniculata L'Hér.
Swida racemosa (Lam.) Moldenke
Thelycrania racemosa (Lam.) Tsitsin
Cornus racemosa is a much-branched, deciduous shrub growing from a rhizomatous rootstock. The plant spreads at the roots to produces several solitary stems up to 5 metres tall and around 20 - 100cm apart from each other[
]. The plant sometimes becomes more tree-like, growing up to 8 metres tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is used in land revegetation schemes and is often grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its showy flowers, fruits, and attractive autumn colouring[
Central and eastern N. America - Manitoba to Quebec and Maine, south to Nebraska, Missouri and North Carolina, also in Texas
Fields, meadows, roadsides, fencerows, swamp margins; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Cornus racemosa is a very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to around -25°c when dormant[
Grows best in a sunny position, though it tolerates moderate shade[
].Prefers a rich, moist, well-drained soil, but will also grow on mineral-rich limestone bedrock and rock outcroppings[
]. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including both moist and somewhat dry soils[
]. Tolerant of poor soils[
]. Plants are tolerant of urban pollution[
The plant commences flowering when around 4 - 5 years old and the stems are around 70cm tall[
The plant will spread freely to form thickets if root suckers are not removed[
The usually white, occasionally pale blue, oblate-ellipsoid fruits are 4 - 8mm in diameter; the thin layer of flesh encloses a single, large seed[
]. We have seen no reports regarding the edibility of this fruit.
An infusion of the bark is held in the mouth to ease the pain of neuralgia and toothache[
An infusion of the bark is used as an enema to treat diarrhoea, especially in children[
A decoction of the bark is used as a poultice on cuts[
]. A compound poultice of the bark is applied to a swollen abdomen, and also to swollen legs after the birth of a baby[
]. The bark is used as a poultice to treat haemorrhoids[
An infusion of the root is used in the treatment of consumption[
Cornus racemosa is well adapted for revegetating disturbed sites. It is easily established by direct seedling and grows rapidly. It has been successfully planted for revegetating highway corridors in Wisconsin and coal mine spoils in the eastern United States[
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[