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Tree Campus: Red Osier Dogwood

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Red-osier Dogwood, Kelseyi Redtwig Dogwood

čičcyusac - S. Lushootseed

Cornus sericea (CORNACEAE)



Canada, Upper and W. Coast USA



"Redosier dogwood provides important food and cover for many mammals and birds. Moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, beavers, and rabbits commonly browse redosier dogwood stems. Bears, small mammals, and birds consume redosier dogwood fruits and seeds. Livestock also utilize redosier dogwood. In Montana, redosier dogwood is referred to as an "ice cream" plant for wildlife and livestock. New shoot growth is an important food source, especially for moose and deer. Twigs have also been referred to as preferred, extremely important, and highly valuable winter browse. Fruits are consumed in the summer and fall. A gardening guide reports that redosier dogwood fruits are eaten by 47 different bird species. Redosier dogwood shrubs are also important nesting habitat and summer cover." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"American Indians ate redosier dogwood fruits and utilized redosier dogwood stems and bark in tonics and emetics to treat ailments, in smoke for an intoxicating effect, and in the construction of structures and tools. The Flathead and Kootenai ate a "sweet and sour" mixture of serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.), redosier dogwood fruits, and sugar. A review reports that redosier dogwood was used in gynecological medicines by aboriginal people of northwestern North America. The Quileute and Salish used redosier dogwood bark in tonic tea to treat fevers and coughs. The Salish from the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island soaked redosier dogwood bark in warm water and drank enough of the extract to induce vomiting. This treatment served to cleanse the stomach and improve breathing. The redosier dogwood extract is still drunk by canoe pullers before races. The inner bark of redosier dogwood stems was dried and smoked by American Indians for a narcotic effect. Blackfeet in the northwestern Great Plains and other tribes in Montana were said to smoke redosier dogwood. Redosier dogwood stems were utilized in various types of tools and construction. The Dena'ina of south-central Alaska used redosier dogwood stems in basketry. The Chumash of California used long redosier dogwood stems as fishing poles and in the construction of canoes and baby cradles. The Flathead and Kootenai used redosier dogwood to make arrows, drumsticks, and tepee stakes.

Families living in Quebec in the first part of the 20th century believed that daily ingestions of redosier dogwood would prevent a miscarriage. Neither the portion of the plant used or preparation of the plant material was described." [1]



"Because of its tolerance of wet soils, rapid establishment and growth, and potentially extensive rooting of prostrate stems, redosier dogwood is often recommended for stream bank revegetation and erosion control. It is also a useful choice in regevetation because of its ability to shade streams and provide structural diversity for wildlife and birds.

Redosier dogwood may also be useful in the revegetation of roadside cuts and mine sites." [1]



[1] Gucker, Corey. 2012. Cornus sericea. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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