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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Cornus nuttallii Audubon ex Torr. & Gray
Pacific dogwood, Pacific flowering dogwood, Mountain dogwood
USDA Symbol: CONU4
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Tree with dense, conical or rounded crown of often horizontal branches and with beautiful white flower clusters. This is the west coast edition of C. florida. It is a 15-40 ft., single- or multi-trunked tree or shrub with a spreading crown and large, showy, creamy white blossoms sometimes flushed with pink. Graceful, horizontal-tiered branching; orange to red fruits; and yellow-orange, fall foliage are other landscape attributes. Pacific flowering dogwood is deciduous.
Pacific Dogwood is one of the most handsome native ornamental trees on the Pacific Coast, with very showy flowers and fruit. The head of flowers with surrounding, petal-like bracts resembles a huge flower and is commonly so called. The flower is larger than that of the eastern Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida L.), usually having 6 bracts instead of 4. John James Audubon (1780-1851), the American ornithologist and artist, who painted this tree in his famous work Birds of America, named it for its collector, Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), the British-American botanist and ornithologist.
The genus cornus is Latin for a horn.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
CA , ID , OR , WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
Throughout CA, n. to B.C. & w. to ID Native Habitat:
Mt. woods & stream banks between 3000-6000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
None Soil Description:
Well-drained, rich soil. Conditions Comments:
This species appreciates summer humidity. Well-established trees suffer from extra summer watering. The tree
is easy prey to a fungus disease if it has been wounded, so a buffer against lawnmower damage should be provided.
Fruits attract water, ground and songbirds, squirrels and deer. Use Other: Native
Americans used branches in basketry. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds outdoors immediately after collection or stratify and sow the following spring. The fleshy coat should be removed. This species will root from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer, but success is not as high as with the eastern f
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 30-60 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Advice on planting Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) in Vancouver, BC
October 26, 2007
I live in the Vancouver, BC - Pacific Northwest area and the front of our yard faces south to southwest. If I were to plant a tree other than an evergreen, would the Korean Dogwood thrive in this are...
view the full question and answer
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff