Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

This native shrub can mostly be found on limestone or chalky soils in scrubby areas. It is inconspicuous for much of the year but during the autumn makes its presence known with beautiful crimson leaves and black fruit. Caterpillars of the Green hairstreak butterfly feed on the leaves from May to July (Recorded from Upper seeds 1980; The Quarry 1979 ; Chalet garden 1980 and Rough common 2006). The round bitter berries grow in clusters ripening in September. They are an important food source for birds and were once used as a source of lamp oil. The hard white wood was favoured for charcoal making, long sticks were utilised as goads (cattle prods) and smaller pieces were used as skewers to hold cuts of meat in shape.

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