Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
Cornus mas (the cornelian cherry) is a small tree that makes its presence known in early spring. Masses of delicate, soft-yellow flowers appear in March. Not surprisingly, it is often confused with the more stridently yellow Forsythia.
Native to Europe, the cornelian cheery has been cultivated for centuries for its cherry-like fruits, which ripen in late summer. Although rather acidic, they can be used for making jams and jellies and as a filling for pies.
Look for our charming specimens on the north edge of the Lower Lawn—you will catch sight of it on your left as you walk from the Perkins Visitor Center to Wave Hill House—or up above and behind the Flower Garden, where these shots were taken. I like to call that space the Secret Garden, but of course it isn’t. The first shot was taken looking west toward the Great Lawn and the river, though neither is especially visible.