A venerable deciduous tree, Pacific dogwood is often included in native plant gardens and ornamental landscaping, however, it is also a tough and useful species for wildland plantings and habitat restoration. Pacific dogwood grows along the west coast from British Columbia to southern California. Growing at a moderate pace, Pacific dogwood is often multi-stemmed and shrubby, but it can also grow up to 20′ tall and take on a graceful tree form. Brilliant white, 3″, petal-like bracts surround the flower for a stunning display around April. Gorgeous fall colors include shades of red, orange or pink, along with stunning red drupe (fruit) clusters.
Pacific dogwood prefers part-shade and rich, well-drained soil with moderate moisture. Although tolerant of deep, dark shade, it will flower more with access to partial sun. As the tree ages it becomes better able to withstand full sun and more drought conditions in late summer.
The genus, Cornus, is the ancient Latin word for the Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas), and the species, nuttallii, is named for Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), a nineteenth century English botanist. Pacific dogwood has long been used as a medicine and as a source for wood for wooden implements and tools.
Cornus nuttallii seed packets contain 1 teaspoon of seed.
Seed Germination Instructions
90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall.