Edible Cornelian cherry

Cornus mas L.

The Edible Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.) from the Cornaceae family grows into a shrub (sometimes into a low tree) usually up to 3-8 m high. It is easy to cultivate and can be successfully grown both on commercial plantations and in home gardens. It prefers sunny stands but also thrives in half-shade. It is rather soil undemanding, drought and air pollutant tolerant and it is totally cold hardy. It yields giant stone fruits which are oval or spherical in shape (depending on a variety) hanging from their stems; they are mostly in shades of red, although there are varieties which bear fruits yellow in hue. They ripen from the end of summer till autumn. At first they are tart in flavour but turn sweet with ripening. They contain polyphenols, tannins, organic acids and anthocyanins and a lot of vitamins. They are an abundant source in vitamin C. They can be enjoyed raw or processed (they are good for juices, jams and fruit liqueurs).