Pacific dogwood is a beautiful wild tree, highly prized as an ornamental tree. It ranges from being a shrub to a fairly tall tree at 2-20 meters high. The bark is smooth and brown on older trunks, with younger branches a grayish-purple. The leaves are ovate-elliptic to elliptic-obovate in shape, with a short point, and petioles 5-10 mm long.
The flowers are small in globose clusters about 1.5-2 cm wide, subtended by 4-7 large white or pinkish-tinged bracts from 2-7 cm long. The flower heads flower early in the spring as the leaves begin to expand. Individual flowers are about 2.5 mm long with greenish-white petals and purple tips.
Pacific dogwood is found in open to fairly dense forests and along streams.
Pacific dogwood is found from British Columbia south both in and west of the Cascade Mts. to southern California. It is also found in the Selway-Lochsa area in Idaho County, Idaho. In the Columbia River Gorge, it is found between the elevations of 100'-2600' west of the Klickitat River.