Evolution''Cornus mas'', "male" cornel, was named so to distinguish it from the true dogberry, the "female" cornel, ''Cornus sanguinea'', and so it appears in John Gerard's ''Herbal''. The shrub was not native to the British Isles. William Turner had only heard of the plant in 1548, but by 1551 he had heard of one at Hampton Court Palace. Gerard said it was to be found in the gardens "of such as love rare and dainty plants" and by the 17th century, the fruits were being pickled in brine or served up in tarts.
The appreciation of the early acid-yellow flowers is largely a 20th-century development. The Royal Horticultural Society gave ''Cornus mas'' an Award of Garden Merit in 1924. The cultivars 'Golden glory' and 'Variegata' have also gained the award.
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