Cornus officinalis

The Japanese cornel, Cornus officinalis is even earlier to flower than its better-known Chinese relative, the Cornelian Cherry.
Deep in the Gilbert Carter woodland, the gold shimmer can be traced to this small-medium sized tree now covered in starbursts of bright yellow inflorescences. Each individual flower has very reflexed petals and a slightly orange trumpet so that they would look like very tiny wild narcissus (except with four rather than five petals) were it not for the four white stamens that curve up and out like little antennae.

The arrangement of the flowers in the inflorescence is curious too: four open to the top, four open to the bottom while the two radials are in bud still.

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