Cornus mas (Dogwood), one of the most stunning of all winter flowering shrubs. For me, this plant certainly has the X Factor, we are very lucky to have several in the gardens at Trinity and thankfully….no Louis Walsh’s.

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It is a large shrub or small deciduous tree, that has the most beautiful small yellow flowers from February through to March. The flowers are borne on the bare branches and glow like little yellow stars, against the gloom of any dull February/March day.

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The older specimens we have in the garden, have a wonderful gnarly look about them when not in leaf, throw in the sprays of the delicate yellow flower later in the winter and you have a true winner.

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The old wood of this shrub/tree is very dense and has been used for making tool handles. Cornus mas has also been used from the seventh century BC by the Greeks to make spears and bows, their craftsmen considered it far superior to any other wood.

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A cracking plant when not in leaf but also….still a true winner when in leaf. The green oval leaves turn a beautiful red/purple colour in the autumn. It produces small red edible berries that ripen in the late summer.

So there you have it, a must have plant if you have a big enough garden, if not….there is always Bonsai.

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