Eurasian dwarf cornel

White flower carpets of early summer

Eurasian dwarf cornel, photo Jussi Helimäki

The low-growing Eurasian dwarf cornel (Cornus suecica) forms dense coverings and is easy to distinguish when it flowers in the early summer. The large, white inflorescences are easy to spot from a distance, but closer inspection reveals that the most visible parts of the inflorescence are just white upper leaves, in the middle of which sits the actual flower, which is black.

In the autumn, the coastal rocks of Skatanniemi and Lauttasaari are often filled with dwarf cornels sporting their autumn colours. If you happen to eat the red berries of the Eurasian dwarf cornel by mistake, there’s no need to worry, as the berries are not poisonous. The berries are usually left unharvested to serve as food for birds due to their bland flavour.