Herb latin name: Cornus australis

Synonyms: Cornus sanguinea australis

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Edible parts of Cornus australis:

This species has the same uses as the closely related C. sanguinea. These uses are listed below. Fruit - raw or cooked. A bitter flavour, it can also have an emetic effect on the body. It is not worthwhile. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter. An oil is obtained from the seed, it is edible when refined.

Description of the plant:


4 m
(13 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Limestone slopes in woodland in Turkey.

Other uses of Cornus australis:

This species has the same uses as the closely related C. sanguinea. These uses are listed below:- The seed contains 45% of a non-drying oil, it is used in soap making and lighting. A non-drying oil is also obtained from the pericarp, it is used for lighting. The pericarp contains 19 - 35% oil. A greenish-blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The young stems are very flexible and are used in basketry. Wood - tough, hard. Used for small items such as tool handles, turnery etc. A good quality charcoal is obtained from the wood, the wood also makes an excellent fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

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, July/August 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 June/July. Takes 9 months.

Cultivation of Cornus australis:

Limestone slopes in woodland in Turkey.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Cornus australis:

Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the following report refers to the closely related C. sanguinea. Contrary to some reports, the fruit is not poisonous, but the leaves can cause skin irritations to sensitive people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.