STORY BY STEVE FISHER There are dozens of trees and shrubs within the genus Cornus, also known as Dogwoods that occupy large parts of North America, Europe and Asia. Native to Western North America, the species we see around southwestern British Columbia is the Pacific Dogwood. Designated the provincial flower of British Columbia in 1956, the Pacific Dogwood is a deciduous tree that ranges from 10- 25 metres in height. Each spring and fall it produces large white blooms with small clusters of tiny white flowers in their centre. The outer petals on these blooms aren’t technically flower petals, but are actually ‘ specialized leaves’ known as bracts. The Pacific Dogwood also bears pink or red berries which are edible to animals, but apparently not very tasty for humans! The wood harvested from Dogwood trees is very hard, and was historically used to connect horses’ harnesses to a horse- drawn cart’s drawpole. To this day, this part is called a Whippletree, a term which also refers to the Dogwood itself. Various aboriginal societies have also used the durable Dogwood for bows and arrows, knitting needles, and mashing its roots and bark into natural dyes.