Pacific madrone is named after its discoverer, Archibald Menzies, a Scottish physician and naturalist during the 19th century. The range of Pacific madrone extends from British Columbia south along the coastal mountains of Washington, Oregon and California from sea level to 4000 feet. While it may grow in pure stands, Pacific madrone is most frequently found beneath an overstory of Douglas-fir or coast redwood. On dry sites it commonly grows alongside California black oak, Oregon white oak, ponderosa pine, or tanoak.