Cornus nuttallii Pacific dogwood
Large white flowers in April and good fall color of the leaves and bunches of red drupes commend C. nuttallii, a native tree. Examination reveals that the conspicuous part of the flower is not composed of petals at all but is composed of four (or five or six) large cream or partly pink bracts. The tree has been reported to grow wild in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of here, though is much more abundant in other parts of its range such as the Yosemite Valley.
Native dogwood resents disturbance by normal gardening activities and is highly susceptible to anthracnose, a leaf fungus disease that can cause stem cankers; therefore nurseries supply its hybrid with the eastern dogwood (C. florida), of which ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ is the most popular on campus. See a row of this cultivar on the eastern side of the Allen Building. A pair is at the edge of the Amy J. Blue Garden next to Memorial Church; one is in the northeastern courtyard of the Outer Quad, in the corner closest to Lasuen Mall.
Name derivation: Cornus – Latin name for C. mas; nuttallii – after Thomas Nuttall (1786–1839).
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings subsequently clarified a few identifications. Art Gallery and Lomita Mall locations of Eddie’s White Wonder removed; i>C. florida and other species separated out into their own entries (Jan 2024, SP).