Skip to content

Plant Finder


Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry

Cornus mas 'JFS PN4Legacy'

Add To My Wish List

Saffron Sentinel Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas 'JFS PN4Legacy') at Roger's Gardens

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry flowers

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  22 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Group/Class:  Sentinel® Family of Trees

Brand:  J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.


A versatile, columnar tree for many landscape applications; features bright yellow flowers in very early spring before the dark green leaves; tart, tasty red berries in summer; deep crimson fall color; attractive dark brown bark exfoliates with age

Ornamental Features

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry is clothed in stunning clusters of yellow flowers along the branches from late winter to early spring before the leaves. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from early to mid summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. It has dark green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn crimson in fall. The peeling dark brown bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

This plant is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it's also valued for its edible qualities. The oblong tart fruit is most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Preserves

Landscape Attributes

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry will grow to be about 22 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features