Or as they say in Rome, Cornus mas
Becky suggested at the last meeting that this pretty tree was a great addition to the garden for spring color. It is a member of the dogwood family. Terri grows them and found these pictures for this story. “This lovely tree is in flower right now in the garden, with soft, fluffy puffs of gold, glowing in the morning sun. It lights up the woodland garden. It provides an edible feast for the eye, when the oval, deep-red “cherries” are ripe. Enjoy as a very special preserve at tea time, or a delightful “eye candy” any time.”, says Terri.
The fruit looks a bit like ripe coffee berries and have a taste that is a cross between cranberries and sour cherries. These drupes are not true cherries, however. Birds love them. So do folks in the Black Sea area, where the tree originally comes from. They are highly prized for distilling vodka and other spirits. Because they high in vitamin C, the fruit has also been used to ward off colds and flu. The Turks use dyes made from them to color the famous fez.
The tree blooms early in the year – sometimes as early is March in zone 6, while the fruit matures later in the summer. They are not fully ripe until they fall from the tree.
Photo credits: E. Horak – Flora.nhm-wien.ac.at