Habit: usually found as a large deciduous shrub, occasionally as a small tree. Bark is gray to yellowish-brown. Oval jade green leaves, deeply veined, are typical of dogwood. The cluster of greenish yellow flowers is an umbel like inflorescences and is surrounded by bracts. Fruit ripens into small shiny black drupes. Blooms from March to April and leaves turn red in autumn.
Ecology: native to California found growing in riparian zones along streambanks from the Northern Coast Range to the Sierra Nevada’s at elevations up to 5000 ft (1550 m).
Growing Conditions: full to partial shade in well-drained moist to wet soil.
The fruit attracts many birds.