Cornus Officinalis Robin's Pride
Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride
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Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride is a variety of Dogwood also known as Japanese Cornel or Japanese Cornelian Cherry. This large deciduous shrub originates from Japan but grows well in the UK. It is similar to the Cornus Mas Cornelian Cherry.
Although this cultivar of Cornus is called Robin’s Pride its flowers, which appear in late winter during February and March, are a bright vivid yellow. They burst from bare branches in small umbrella shapes measuring approximately two centimetres across. Flowers grow brightly in clusters along the branch length. After a bare winter this splash of freely flowering colour is very welcome, particularly for early-waking pollinators.
Following its blooms, broad ovate leaves appear in a dark glossy green. The leaves last throughout the summer months providing a rich background for Robin’s Pride fruit which is oblong, bright red and loved by birds. In autumn its foliage turns a deep reddish-purple shade. Robin’s Pride multi-stemmed bark adds interest as the leaves fall. It is a rich-toned red brown, often peeling to reveal a lighter colour beneath.
How Hardy Is Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride
Japanese Cornel are very hardy in the UK and Robin’s Pride is no exception. Most Cornus plants will withstand frosts and snow provided their roots are kept out of waterlogged soil.
How To Use Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride
Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride is one of the first flowers to appear in the garden alongside Magnolia and spring bulbs such as snowdrops. It grows well in a flower border against a fence, providing shelter and habitats for birds and pollinators.
You can also grow Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride in a container which will restrict its growth. Containers have the added benefit of portability, so you can move Robin’s Pride around your garden to brighten a dull area.
How To Care For Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride
If left untouched Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride will grow to an ultimate height of four to eight metres and spread across the same distance. It can take five to ten years to reach these dimensions, but it is easily kept small with regular pruning. Remove dead branches and cut to a manageable height before the buds appear in February.
Cornus Officinalis Robin’s Pride prefers moist but well-drained acid or neutral soils in full or partial sunlight, but it will grow in less than ideal situations.
The Japanese Cornelian Cherry is a tough, reliable and attractive shrub that brightens a garden from February to the first frosts. It is a good choice for the gardener who appreciates early-flowering attractive plants and enjoys supporting wildlife.
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