Pacific Dogwood

(Cornus nuttallii)

flowering dogwood
flowering dogwood
The above is actually in bloom. Flowers can be seen in expanded photo
flowering dogwood
Note the Buds in the center

The Pacific dogwood, (Cornus nuttallii) (syn. Benthamidia nuttallii), is a species of dogwood native to western North America from lowlands of southern British Columbia to mountains of southern California. It is classified as a tree and may grow 75 feet tall, but is typically irregular in shape with multiple stems. I would describe it as somewhere between a large shrub and a tree.

It's preferred location is lower elevations of moist, but well drained, areas. In the spring (about Cherry blossom time) the large white things appear. They are assumed to be 'flowers', but really aren't quite. The white 'things' are not flower pedals but 'bracts' which is a term for specialized leaves around flowers. The flowers are actually a cluster of small things in the middle of the bracts that are still in bud in close up photos. The flowers will ripen into a cluster of small red berries. A close look at the second photo down will show the flowers.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
- - Updated 5/12/2012