Herb: Mountain Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus nuttallii

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Medicinal use of Mountain Dogwood:

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

Description of the plant:


10 m
(33 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Usually found in moist well-drained soils in the shade of coniferous trees to 1800 metres.

Edible parts of Mountain Dogwood:

The fruit is possibly edible. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter and has a thin, mealy flesh.

Other uses of the herb:

An intense brown dye is obtained by boiling the bark. The bark is rich in tannin and has been used as a preservative. The long slender branches have been used in making baby baskets. Wood - exceedingly hard, heavy, strong, close grained. It is used for tool handles, cabinet making etc.

Propagation of Mountain Dogwood:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 - 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year. Scarification may also help as may a period of about 3 days warm stratification at 15C before the cold stratification. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more. 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. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months.

Cultivation of the herb:

Usually found in moist well-drained soils in the shade of coniferous trees to 1800 metres.

Known hazards of Cornus nuttallii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.