Mountain Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Mountain Dogwood
Cornus nuttallii

An intense brown dye is obtained by boiling the bark[257].

The bark is rich in tannin and has been used as a preservative[257].

The long slender branches have been used in making baby baskets[257].

Wood – exceedingly hard, heavy, strong, close grained. It is used for tool handles, cabinet making etc[46, 61, 82, 118].

  • Medicinal Use

    The bark is antiperiodic, cathartic, febrifuge, laxative and tonic[46, 61, 118, 257]. An infusion is used as a quinine substitute in the treatment of malaria[46, 118, 226]. The infusion has also been used in the treatment of stomach complaints[257]. Externally, it is used to treat ulcers[257].

  • Edible Use

    The fruit is possibly edible[177]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200] and has a thin, mealy flesh[82].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed[80, 113]. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors[80, 164]. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 – 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year[164]. Scarification may also help as may a period of about 3 days warm stratification at 15¡c before the cold stratification[80, 164]. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more[164]. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage[78]. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months[78].
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility[1], ranging from acid to shallow chalk[200]. Another report says that it does not thrive in poor chalky soils[182]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[[188]. Plants are hardy to about -15¡c[184], but they require long hot humid summers in order to promote good growth[200]. A very ornamental tree[1], but it is usually short-lived in Britain and does not do well in the north of this country[11]. There is some evidence to suggest that trees grow better on poor soils and can be killed by too much kindness. A very good tree has been seen on a poor gravel soil[182]. Closely related to C. florida[226]. This species is the floral emblem of British Columbia[226]. A number of named varieties have been developed for their ornamental value[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Western N. America – British Columbia to California and east to Idaho.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.