Nature's Secret Larder - Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)


Bushcraft Blog

Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)
8th November 2008

dogwood cornus sanguinea 


Dogwood Cornus sanguinea Originally started life going by the name of ‘Dagwood', dag meaning dagger because of the fact that cattle prods were made using the wood from this flexible and strong species. 

WOOD - has been used to make all manner of items that need a strong, yet flexible material, such as the rims of nets, basketry, withies, and even skewers, which makes it an ideal choice for roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The young stems also turn a beautiful orange colour in autumn and for this reason the Dogwood is often used as an ornamental species known as midwinter fire.

LEAVES - these are one of the most characteristic parts all dogwoods. If the leaves are broken very slightly they will reveal fragile latex which is just about able to support the leaf for a very short time.

dogwood latex from leaf

BERRIES - the berries of this species are black, but some dogwoods produce white berries. The berries are often regarded as poisonous, but this is not strictly true. While not poisonous they can prove to make one feel unwell if consumed as they are not edible. They are best used for primitive inks and lamp oil.

EDIBLE PARTS - The berries can be eaten, but may have an emetic effect on the body. An oil can be made from the seed which is useable once refined, but not really worthwhile.


hunt on 08/12/13

MY eatern Dogwood is now planted in northern california and every year we have to pull the leaves off. Is there a way to force it to drop its leaves?



Giannis on 28/08/12

Here in Greece we use the beries of cornus (greek name is : Krania) to make a very tasty liqouer that has also the effect to help with stomach aches.

Bob Braun on 11/09/11

I purchased a dogwood tree in Indiana to plant in South Dakota, it does not seem to be doing well. Leaves are crumpled in appearance. It was planted in May and it's now September. Does it not have a chance to survive. It has not lost any leaves.

elle on 11/08/11

berries of cornel cherry trees are very common in Georgia(caucasus) they are darkred and are eaten raw, or as marmalade. it tastes sourly-sweet and seems to be very healthy!

Reg on 18/05/11

We have just got a Dogwood "cornus alba sibirica." ,dose this like hot summer weather ie.30~35 deg c in summer? what weather condition's dose it like.
Regards Reg.

Harriet Powell on 27/04/11

One of our dogwoods in the front yard was planted by my husband approximately seven or eight years ago. It has grown to a height of about ten feet tall from just a small sprout. The tree is shaded no more or less than some older dogwood trees in our wooded rear yard, which seem to show flowers each spring. When might we expect this American native dogwood to flower? Thanks Harriet Powell

Tricia on 19/04/11

@ Rev. Bill Shaffer

I tried to post a link to the story about the Dogwood tree and Christ's Crucifixion, but this website does not allow for links to be posted. If you google worldwideweb(dot)promiseofgod(dot)com(backslash)dogwood = this webpage tells the story you mentioned here.

Alene Russell on 18/04/11

Clear, concise, and to the point. You actually explained what I wanted to know without trying to sell me something! Research isn't what it used to be. Thank you so much! My husband and I were wondering why something so beautiful would be named "dog" wood when dog usually refers to something being not beautiful. Now we know!

Kris on 13/04/11

From what I understand, no particular wood was ever mentioned. This said, most plants, or trees which turn red at certain times of year, are usually associated with the 'blood of Christ' which I presume is the cause of confusion here.

I hope that helps.

REV. BILL SHAFFER on 12/04/11


Cheri Petersen on 11/04/11

I need to see pictures and get some info about dwarf dogwood of the Kelseyi or Nana variety. How big does it get? Can it grow in shade? Evergreen?

Kris on 30/03/11

The leaves won't always fall by themselves, it will often depend on the weather conditions. You don't need to worry or do anything with them.

Mardi Kisling on 30/03/11

I have a question.  My dogwoods don't seem to loose their leaves in the winter, some fall, some don't.  Is this a problem?  Shouldl I remove the old leaves to make way for the new ones?  Hope you can help.Thanks,  Mardi Kisling

kye Lee on 08/01/11

I would appreciate it if you could tell me how to take care of the dogwood tree located in our front yard. What kind of fertilizers and How often?
It is about 5 m tall and 12 cm in diameter.

Thank you

Hazel Davis-Clark on 19/10/10

Since the Dogwood is a sturdy wood / item, it should become the Flower used to Represent
Our Military Soldier-Veteran connection,instead of the Poppy, which has an effect adding to the
Addiction behaviors & promotes this type of Unhealthy Behaviors.

Rory Billad on 21/09/10

This is a good web site

Leave Your Comments

(not displayed on the site)