Well known as an ornamental, the cornelian cherry reaches about 6 m in time and 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 about 15 mm 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.