Well known as an
ornamental, this small tree, reaching about 6m in time, has been
cultivated since antiquity for its fruit. Evidence for its
consumption has been found on Neolithic sites, the Greeks and Romans
certainly cultivated it and it also became a common addition to many
Mediterranean monastery gardens.
It has pretty yellow flowers in February, which are self- fertile in time, (only male flowers are produced for the first year or two). Slow growing and long lived, it prefers a sheltered sunny site being a native of warmer climes, though it tolerates the cold quite well.
Bright red and about15mm in size, it is seldom eaten raw but usually cooked for pies etc. A preserve made from Cornelian Cherries is said to be one of the best.
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