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Cornus sessilis

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About Miner's Dogwwod (Cornus sessilis) Cornus sessilis is a species of dogwood known by the common names blackfruit cornel or blackfruit dogwood and miner's dogwood. This is a shrub or small tree which is endemic to northern California, where it grows along streambanks in the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and the coastal mountain ranges. It is a tree of the understory in its native range. This dogwood may approach five meters in height at maximum. It is deciduous, bearing deeply-veined oval green leaves in season which turn red before falling. Its flower cluster is a cluster of tiny greenish-yellow flowers surrounded by thick, pointed leafs. The fruit is a round drupe about a centimeter wide which is white when new and gradually turns shiny black. The fruit attracts many birds.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
8.2 - 16.4 ft (2.5 - 5 m)

Max. Width
3 - 9 ft (0.9 - 2.7 m)


Winter Deciduous

Blade 4.5-9 cm wide, obovate to elliptic, hairy

Flower Color
Yellow, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type

Part Shade

Elevation ?
91' - 7085'

Annual Precip. ?
20.4" - 121.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.33" - 3.57"

Coldest Month ?
29.6° F - 51.9° F

Hottest Month ?
54.6° F - 75.1° F

Humidity ?
0.26 vpd - 24.15 vpd

Soil Description
Moist to wet. Tolerates heavy clay soils.

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Saline Soil

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Redwoods (Sequoia sepervirens), ferns (Athyrium filix-femina, Polystichum munitum)

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Miner's Dogwood, Blackfruit Dogwood, Blackfruit Cornel

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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