Cornelian cherry buds just opening, Brooklyn Bridge Park end of February 2012
Seeing the Cornelian Cherry buds up close yesterday at Brooklyn Bridge Park (for more of what's happening there - a Bluebell photo contest even- visit the link to Brooklyn Bridge Park's blog or take a walk to see spring unfolding there for yourself in person) was kind of an aha moment. I knew the Cornelian cherry was related to the Cornus florida, the spring-blooming dogwood native to this area. Same genus. But the resemblance between the two only finally caught my eye clearly yesterday and it was in the buds.
Cornus florida winter buds at NYBG last January
Blooming Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Prospect Park, mid-to-late March last year
It's less easy for me to see that resemblance when the flowers are open. But I rarely get up close and personal with the Cornelian cherry. Mostly, it just appears to me in the distance as this lovely haze of yellow in the empty canopy of early spring. Our native Dogwoods most anybody recognizes and could draw, (but it's the petal-like bracts and not the actual flower clusters that catch the eye) and they are the image that will forever come to mind first whenever I hear the word Dogwood. You know I love them the most.