Advanced Search Map Locator
View Settings
Nurseries Carrying this Plant Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
Show all Photos

Butterflies My Plant Lists Nurseries Planting Guide Contact Calscape About Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Scientific Name Order by # of Butterflies Hosted
Show nursery cultivars Hide nursery cultivars
Show plants not in nurseries Hide plants not in nurseries
Grid view Text view
Brown Dogwood
Cornus glabrata
About Brown Dogwood (Cornus glabrata) Nurseries Show All Photos Cornus glabrata is a species in the Cornaceae (Dogwood) family native to California and Oregon and known by the common name Brown Dogwood and several other names. It is found in the Coast Ranges and the Sierra foothills, below 5,000 ft., and on some of the Channel Islands. This is a large shrub or thicket-forming bush with very limber branches that often come down to the ground and root to form new plants. It also spreads by root suckers. The bark may be brown, reddish or purple, giving it interest in winter when it is leafless. The bright green leaves turn red in fall. It bears plentiful clusters of fuzzy white flowers and bluish-white berries. This shrub is most often found near water, usually directly on the bank of a water source, but it can become less thirsty in the garden by periodic deep watering.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Tree

Max. Height
4.9 - 20 ft (1.5 - 6.1 m)


Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Elliptical, smooth margin, grey-green on both sides, turning red in fall

Flower Color
White, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places such as stream banks, often in the shade of larger trees

Part Shade

Elevation ?
0' - 7368'

Annual Precip. ?
9.2" - 89.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 3.68"

Coldest Month ?
32.4° F - 55.8° F

Hottest Month ?
53.9° F - 79.2° F

Humidity ?
0.10 vpd - 26.95 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0


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

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

Companion Plants
Trees - Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Santa Lucia Fir (Abies bracteata), Duoglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and many others. Shrubs and herbs - Meadow Rue (Thalictrum fendleri), Snowdrop Bush (Styrax officinalis), Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), and Huckleberry (Vaccinum ovatum).

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous birds are attracted to the flowers and berries. Some butterflies use Dogwoods as host plant including the Echo Blue and Spring Azure, and many others use it for nectaring.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
2x/month, 3x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Prune to shape in late fall after leaves have dropped

Propagation ?
By cuttings of the stem or rhizome

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Several Other Names, Smooth Dogwood

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

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In