Apr. 29, 2018

Cornelian cherry, Cornus mas

If a tree blooms in a forest, and no one is around to see it, does it count as a wildflower? Not until yesterday. I led a walk at Hidden Lake Gardens as part of their Arbor Day event. We saw a Cornelian cherry growing in a thicket of invasive honeysuckle west of the lake. The seed was no doubt dropped there by a bird, after dinning in gardens on the other side of Hidden Lake. Until now, this southern European tree had only been reported wild in New York. It therefore probably isn't a threat to become invasive. Doesn't look much like a dogwood, but it is. The red berries are edible, but only when they fully ripen after they fall. The wood is so dense it will not float.