By September, Pacific dogwood makes its second display of brilliant color for the year. Although bitter to human taste, the bright red berries of the tree are a favored food for many birds as they begin their migration south. It is unknown where the name dogwood originated, but some believe it is because the berries were unfit for a dog to eat. Another theory is that the name developed from the word dag (the root of dagger), because the wood of the tree was historically used to make skewers for butchers. Over time the name dagwood has been altered by common speech and has become dogwood.

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