The treasured Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii

The Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii small tree or shrub is protected in British Columbia. It is actually not all that common except in the lower western corner of the Province but has the distinction of being the Provincial flower. I have been admiring one such specimen on Mayne Island for a few years now.

Pacific Dogwood small tree or shrub by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 067

Isn’t it just grand? The flower or leaf petals are a stunning greenish cream-white. With some rather tame bushwhacking I was able to get up a wee closer so we can have a good study of these beauties.

Pacific Dogwood Cornus nuttallii by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 083

The actual flower of this plant is the greenish ball in the center. I understand it is suppose to flower spring AND fall but I only seem to notice in the spring. Though the dark red berries are bitter they are the culinary delight of pigeons, quail, grosbeaks, hermit thrushes, and waxwings. Bears and beavers enjoy the fruit and foliage, and deer eat the twigs.

Some aboriginal people used the wood, which is fine-grained, hard and heavy, for bows and arrows. More recently, the Cowichan people on Vancouver Island made knitting needles from it.

The Straits Salish made a tanning agent from the bark. The Thompson people made dyes – deep brown from the bark, black when mixed with grand fir, and red from the roots.

The wood has been used for piano keys. Pacific dogwood varieties are attractive ornamental plant in coastal gardens.

But remember if you see one – British Columbia Legislation protects the Pacific dogwood from being dug up or cut down.

Reference and more about this plant:

Also, it has been a week of finding more homes for paintings and releasing some new ones for sale. Find out more on Terrill Welch Artist at  “Oil landscape paintings – three new releases and three to ship

Can you share with us  the flower emblem of your Province or State?

Wishing a wonderful week ahead with many creative adventures!

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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