Herb: Western Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus occidentalis

Synonyms: Cornus pubescens

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)

Medicinal use of Western Dogwood:

The bitter-tasting bark is astringent, ophthalmic and tonic. An infusion has been used as a wash for sore eyes.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Moist soils, especially by streams.

Edible parts of Western Dogwood:

Fruit - raw or cooked. They were often eaten by native North Americans, but they are bitter and acid.

Propagation of the herb:

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 warm stratification 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 Western Dogwood:

Moist soils, especially by streams.

Known hazards of Cornus occidentalis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.