Pacific Dogwood

(Cornus nutallii)

A basket of flowers
Pacific dogwood is best know for its beautiful white flowers. The showy white bracts in bloom are spectacular, and many wonder who planted these trees out in the wild. For generations, young shoots have been used for basket weaving, and the wood of its eastern cousin is used for making piano keys, arrows and golf club heads. Native Americans used the wood of the dogwood as a blood purifier and to help with stomach problems.

It is often an understory tree found on moist, well-drained soils throughout western Oregon.

A shade-tolerant large shrub or small deciduous tree, growing to 30 feet. Orange or red berries replace the dogwood flowers, providing food for birds and other animals during fall and winter. The leaves are oval in shape with veins that follow the curve of the leaf and turn a brilliant red in fall.

The bright orange to red “berries” are popular with various birds in the fall and winter. Deer and elk eat young dogwood sprouts.

The Pacific dogwood prefers full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil.

This tree prefers areas that are shady and moist. If managed as an ornamental, the soil must be nutrient-rich or the tree may not be able to flower.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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