Corus mas the Cornelin Cherry
A small deciduous tree, the Cornelian Cherry is Cornus mas. It is grown as an an ornamental tree, however is better know for the brilliant red fruits which give it the common name.
Reaching around 7m (21ft) in heigh, taller in good conditions, the fruit is used in jams. It is also distilled to make Vodka and Raki.
The fruit needs to ripen on the tree to gain the sugar levels required. The taste is best described as a sour cherry with a a hint of floral fragrance to it.
You do need to remove the pips, however todays cultivars produce larger fruit and are well worth seeking out.
Best is a sunny position in a well drained fertile soil.
This is a slow growing tree, however once established it requires little care and it relatively drought tolerant.
You trees have a fairly upright habit, as they mature they develop into a spreading tree, so give them adequate space.
They can be pruned to maintain a more upright habit if required.
Cornus mas Jam Recipe
Wash and dry the Cornelian Cherries.
- 2 cups of fruit
- 4 cups of sugar
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- Juice of a small lemon
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cardamom (ground)
- With the water in a pot, add the sugar and bring to a boil.
- Add the cherries and boil gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and cardamom and boil to 1 more minute.
- Allow the mixture to cool in the pot and then preserve in jars.
You will have some syrup left over, this can be boiled for around 10 minutes, strained, cooled and refrigerated.
The syrup can be used as a refreshing drink, mixed with iced water, a sprig of mint and some ice cubes.
Corus mas or Cornelin Cherry Trees are available for sale from the following nurseries
'Justly famous for rare and unusual plants' Don Teese
34 Mt Pleasant Rd Monbulk VIC 3793