Cornus mas, known as the cornelian cherry, is a native to eastern Europe and western Asia. This species was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and is contemporarily regarded as an ornamental species in temperate regions worldwide. Although the common name is the cornelian cherry this species is from the dogwood family, Cornaceae (whereas cherry is more typically associated with Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus and other closely-related taxa within the Rosaceae).
Cornus mas is a species of economic importance. According to Lee Reich in the Arnoldia article, Cornelian Cherry from the Shores of Ancient Greece (PDF), the bright red fruit is edible raw, dried, or preserved. The drupes (botanical fruit-types) of this species are high in vitamin C content (twice that of oranges). They can be a bit tart, but later develop sweetness as they ripen. The Turkish use the cornelian cherry to flavour a fruit drink known as serbert. In the Ukraine, the fruits are juiced, bottled as soft drinks, made into conserves, fermented into wine, distilled into liquor or dried.
The species also has non-edible uses. The wood of Cornus mas is extremely dense–so heavy in fact that it does not float in water. In ancient times, the wood was used for spokes and wheels, shaped into wedges for splitting other woods, or worked into pins, bolts and weapons such as spears. In modern times, the wood of the cornelian cherry is highly valued by wood turners for the production of tools or machine parts.