The species Cornus mas, often known as the Cornelian Cherry, is an unusual slow-growing fruiting ornamental tree, which has been cultivated in the Middle East for thousands of years.
The simple yellow flowers are amongst the earliest to appear, usually in February.
Whilst many Cornus species produce fruitlets, Cornus mas is the species most commonly grown for fruit production. These appear in summer, looking a bit like hawthorn berries, and have a range of culinary uses, particularly in middle-eastern dishes.
Unlike most of the other flowering dogwoods, the tiny yellow flowers arrive very early in the spring, and are not surrounded by the usual large petal-like bracts. In autumn the leaves take on autumnal colours.
Like many slow-growing trees, the wood is surprisingly dense.